cover image Corps & the Shore

Corps & the Shore

Orrin H. Pilkey, Author, Katherine L. Dixon, Author, Katharine Dixon Wheeler, Author Island Press $50 (286p) ISBN 978-1-55963-438-0

The future of our shoreline, say the authors, is not in the hands of a natural resource agency but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They believe coastal scientists should be in charge. Professor of geology at Duke University Pilkey (The Beaches Are Moving, with Wallace Kaufman) and Dixon, research associate with the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, are critical of the corps and its practices. This book is an eloquent call for public debate about improving coastal management. By the 1980s, coastal scientists had recognized the destructive role of sea walls, but the engineering community had not. The National Park Service rejects shoreline engineering, and the practice is now illegal in four states. The authors examine in depth five corps projects-Folly Beach, S.C.; Sargent Beach, Tex.; Presque Isle in Lake Erie; Camp Ellis, Maine; and Oregon Inlet, N.C. They discuss the impact on beaches of winds, waves and storms, and the final chapter offers suggestions for improving the Corps' coastal science. This critique should be required reading for coast dwellers. Photos. (June)