Coastal Ecosystem Book???

Been doing a lot of reading lately. I am looking for a good book about coastal environments but have not had any luck just yet.

Now living here on the east coast we have a lot of tidal marsh areas along the coast around the barrier islands and throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

I would like to learn more about these areas and the animals, plants, etc. that live there, what causes their formation, etc.

Can anyone recommend a book???



One Oldie but Goodie

Rachal Carson’s “The Sea Around Us” is dated perhaps, but still a classic and a delight to read.

For something more current and specific to the Chesapeake area I’d try to find a park or nature center store somewhere in the area you are in. But even a chain bookstore should have nature/natural history books specific to your region. Guess you could surf Amazon with words like Chesapeake, Ecology, Ecosystem, etc.

Good luck. Having some knowledge of the ecology of the areas we paddle can sure add to the experience.

wrong area

– Last Updated: Feb-13-08 8:22 AM EST –

but I've enjoyed this

This is the book the Monterey Bay aquarium uses to train its interpretors, docents and volunteers. Lots of maps, schematics, and pictures. And local critters galore, good stuff.

with chapters on:

• oceanography
• geology
• wetlands
• beaches and dunes
• rocky shores
• reefs and pilings
• kelp forests
• the sandy seafloor
• open waters, and
• the deep sea

Coastal ecology
books that I would recommnend are Animals of the Tidal Marsh by Franklin Daiber. Van Nostrand Rheinhold publishes it and the author is a prof at University of Delaware. Also Beautiful Swimmers by Warner which traces the life cycle of the blue crab in Chesapeake and the lives of fisherman. The Erotic Ocean by Jack Rudloe is a good one and while it covers the gulf panhandle area many of the species covered will be found in your area. Coastal Plants from Cape Cod to Canaveral by Stuckey/Gould is a good plant guide. If you need more I can go to my bookshelf later and see what I have. Hope that helps.


2 good ones
Life in the Chesapeake Bay by Alice and Robert Lippson, Johns Hopkins University Press and Chesapeake Bay a field guide by Christopher White, Tidewater Publishers.

Coastal Resources
Matt, you may want to take a look at these sites. The FWS site has a link to a report on the Chesapeake area.

Teal is author
of Life and Death of The Salt Marsh.

Try this
Each state with a coastal area has a Coastal Zone Management Program funded by NOAA. Here is a link to info about MD’s program.

If it is the one I have at home

– Last Updated: Feb-13-08 7:20 PM EST –

Chesapeake Bay a field guide by Christopher White, Tidewater Publishers as mentioned by Joel is a fine book. Has more info on various eco zones than you can digest in one season.

Still, it did not adequately describe the diaphonous wavy thingies that Mike McC and I were trying to identify several seasons ago.


Ooops. It was the other book - Life in the Chesapeake Bay. All you need to know about the life cycles of sea nettles, blue crabs and sea horses.