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The Atlas of Coasts and Oceans

Ecosystems, Threatened Resources, Marine Conservation

Oceans drive the world’s climate, nurture marine ecosystems full of aquatic life, and provide shipping lanes that have defined the global economy for centuries. And few realize that half of the world’s population lives in a coastal region within easy reach of one. Yet human activities such as commercial fishing, coastal real estate development, and industrial pollution have taken their toll on the seas. The first book of its kind, The Atlas of Coasts and Oceans documents the fraught relationship between humans and the earth’s largest bodies of water—and outlines the conservation steps needed to protect the marine environment for generations to come.

The Atlas offers a fascinating and often sobering account of how urbanization, climate change, offshore oil drilling, shipping routes, global tourism, and maritime conflict have had a profound impact on the world’s oceans and coasts. Combining text and images in visually engaging, thematically organized map spreads, this volume addresses the ecological, environmental, and economic importance of marine phenomena such as coral reefs, eroding shorelines, hurricanes, and fish populations—and how development threatens to destroy the ultimate source of all life on the “blue planet.” Lavishly illustrated with global and regional maps, from the Arabian Gulf to the Great Barrier Reef, from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, and all the other major global waterways, The Atlas of Coasts and Oceans will be the definitive companion to any study of its subject for years to come.

128 pages | 115 color plates | 9 3/4 x 7 1/2 | © 2011

Earth Sciences: General Earth Sciences


“For those who like maps and numbers, this atlas illustrates the pressures bearing down on the world’s coasts and inshore waters and the pressures created, in turn, for people who live near coasts (most of the world’s population) and whose livelihoods depend directly or indirectly on the sea.”

Foreign Affairs

”An excellent one-stop resource for graphical and pictorial information on a wide range of topics, focusing on the damaging effects of human activities on marine life and the importance of conservation efforts to preserve the oceans.”—Choice


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