The Corps and the Shore
For more than a century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been building fortifications along the American coastline in an effort to protect our vulnerable shores. With the prospect of seaborne invasion becoming increasingly unlikely, the Corps has turned its attention to a more subtle but no less dangerous threat: the insidious effects of coastal erosion.
In The Corps and the Shore, Orrin H. Pilkey, the nation's most outspoken coastal geologist, and Katharine L. Dixon, an educator and activist for national coastal policy reform, provide a comprehensive examination of the impact of coastal processes on developed areas and the ways in which the Corps of Engineers has attempted to manage erosion along America's coastline.
Through detailed case studies of large-scale projects in Texas, Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina, the authors demonstrate the shortcomings of the Corps's underlying assumptions and methodology. As they discuss the role of local citizens in the project process, they highlight the interaction between local Corps offices and community officials and residents. By focusing on different types of problems in various regions of the country, Pilkey and Dixon clearly show how the Corps has repeatedly failed to act in the best interest of those most affected by the projects. As well as criticizing Corps practices, the authors provide numerous suggestions for reforming the Corps and making it both more scientifically accountable and more accountable to the citizens it is intended to serve.
The Corps and the Shore is essential reading for coastal residents, environmentalists, planners, and coastal city officials as well as geologists, civil engineers, marine scientists, and anyone concerned with the impact of human society on our shorelines.