The Alabama-Mississippi shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico boasts some of the world's most beautiful beaches and balmiest climes. Ever-increasing numbers of retirees, recreation lovers, and industries with work forces are being attracted to the "Sun Belt." On a soft April day the Gulf's waters look as peaceful as a pond. Yet this same serene shoreline has been ravaged by seven major hurricanes during this century. Several years more than one fearful storm has come hurtling in during a single "season." Loss of life an property damage have been devastating. And newcomers seem almost unaware of the potential dangers. The authors of this book offer a vivid, historical overview for understanding the environment of the Alabama-Mississippi shore. They describe the risks faced by new residents, and they point the way toward safe and sane coastal development.
Orrin H. Pilkey Jr. is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences at Duke University.
List of figures and tables vii Foreword xi 1. A coastal perspective 1 2. Shoreline dynamics 21 3. Man and the shoreline 36 4. Selecting a site along the Alabama-Mississippi coast 51 Alabama 69 Mississippi 104 5. The coast, land use, and the law 124 6. Building or buying a house near the beach 138 Appendix A. Hurricane checklist 167 Appendix B. A guide to federal, state, and local agencies involved in coast development 171 Appendix C. Useful references 189 Index 211
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