Coastal regions around the world have become increasingly crowded, intensively developed, and severely exploited. Hundreds of millions of people living in these low-lying areas are subject to short-term coastal hazards such as cyclones, hurricanes, and destruction due to El Niño, and are also exposed to the long-term threat of global sea-level rise. These massive concentrations of people expose often-fragile coastal environments to the runoff and pollution from municipal, industrial, and agricultural sources as well as the impacts of resource exploitation and a wide range of other human impacts. Can environmental impacts be reduced or mitigated and can coastal regions adapt to natural hazards?
Coasts in Crisis is a comprehensive assessment of the impacts that the human population is having on the coastal zone globally and the diverse ways in which coastal hazards impact human settlement and development. Gary Griggs provides a concise overview of the individual hazards, risks, and issues threatening the coastal zone.
Gary Griggs is Distinguished Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is author or coauthor of Introduction to California’s Beaches and Coast, Living with the Changing California Coast, California Coast from the Air, The Santa Cruz Coast (Then and Now), and Our Ocean Backyard.
"The roadmap to a healthy and sustainable ocean is filled with twists and turns. In Coasts in Crisis
, Gary Griggs walks the reader through the science of each challenge, from the natural coastal process to the substantial impacts of human activities. This is a must-read for all of us working toward an ocean ecosystem that we would want to hand off to future generations."—John Laird, California Secretary for Natural Resources and Chair of the Ocean Protection Council
"All around the world, population and economic development are increasingly concentrated in coastal regions. This means our planet’s coastal zones are both ever more vital to societal well-being and increasingly stressed by development and population. Nobody understands these natural and human dynamics better than Gary Griggs. Written with Griggs’s trademark clarity and passion, Coasts in Crisis
provides a global perspective on the challenges and opportunities that are present for us all."—Kathryn D. Sullivan, Former NOAA Administrator and NASA Astronaut
"Coasts in Crisis is a comprehensive and accessible book that should become a must-read for anyone who is concerned about the future of the life support system on Earth that sustains us all. Human activities have vastly altered these critical habitats and it’s time to invest in understanding and protecting them for the future. Gary Griggs’s book is a great place to develop such understanding and build momentum toward this goal."—Julie Packard, Executive Director, Monterey Bay Aquarium