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Shadows on the Gulf - A Journey Through Our Last Great Wetland - cover

Shadows on the Gulf - A Journey Through Our Last Great Wetland

Rowan Jacobsen

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

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Summary

In the spring of 2010, we watched oil gushing unstoppably into the  
waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But as bad as the spill was, it is  
only the latest chapter in a century-long story of destruction.  
At 
 the height of BP's dispersant madness, the amount sprayed each day  
merely equaled the amount of dispersant that washes down the Mississippi 
 from the Heartland's dishwashers and washing machines. Coastal drilling 
 has damaged the region's ecology far more than offshore drilling. And  
the acres of marshland ruined by oil slicks can't compare to the amount  
that disappears in every hurricane, due to the work of the Army Corps of 
 Engineers. Southern Louisiana is subsiding. Even if we succeed in  
restoring every mile of beach and wetland from the oil spill, the entire 
 Mississippi Delta could be lost this century, and New Orleans will sink 
 beneath the waves, an American Atlantis. 
Surveying 
 the Gulf Coast by sailboat, skiff, car, and kayak, Jacobsen journeys  
from the bayous of Terrebonne Parish, to the last shucking house in New Orleans's French  
Quarter. He discovers a little-appreciated ecological wonder of breathtaking  
natural beauty and rich culture struggling to hold on to the things that 
 have always sustained it. 
Shadows on the Gulf 
 details the catastrophe creeping across the region and reveals why the  
damage to the Gulf will affect us all. Not only are the Gulf's wetlands  
the best oyster reefs and fish nurseries in the world, they also provide 
 critical habitat to most of America's migratory songbirds and  
waterfowl. If the Gulf is allowed to fail, the effects will ripple  
across America.

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