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History of Eastern United States coast barrier islands land change - Research Proposal Example

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The barrier beaches are reefs of sand whose responsibility is to protect the mainland shore against storm waves that come from the ocean as they are likely to destroy the beaches or carry away people on the shore (Cooper, Orrin, William and James 2011, 17). For a long time of…
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History of Eastern United States coast barrier islands land change
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History of Eastern United s Coast Barrier Islands History of Eastern United s Coast Barrier Islands The barrier beaches are reefs of sand whose responsibility is to protect the mainland shore against storm waves that come from the ocean as they are likely to destroy the beaches or carry away people on the shore (Cooper, Orrin, William and James 2011, 17). For a long time of period, they have been isolated and uninhabited as they are considered as being risky to human beings according to Fraser and Pilkey (2003, 26 ) . It was hard for people to travel to other places hence the great transformation that came with the barriers. Railroad and turnpike bridges were built to enable the people cross the barriers. They also connected many people with the shore. Pleasure and comfort was on the peak in the island making investments to be on the rise (Jones and Mike 2011, 15-16). Hotels and cottages came into place on the coast. The vegetation around was not the same all over as most of it would be destroyed by the sea water (Parry 2007, 35-36; Goudie, and Cuff 2008, 25). The long island beaches are barren with no vegetation while the other side of the island is covered with a dense forest of trees  (Gray 2008, p57).
Most of the beaches are sandy in nature hence the need for the barriers to reduce soil erosion (Robinson 2005, p57; MacCracken and Frances 2008, 76). The coastal zone has been home to almost two thirds of the population in America. Along it are the slender and fragile silvers of sand that act as the barriers. They have been maintained for a longer period as a result of the frequent hurricanes and tides that affect the area often (Pilkey, and Rob 2008 ). The people in the area started building the barriers at the end of the last ice age. During this period, there was a steady rise in the sea level and it went ahead to flood the coastal river valleys claiming several lives. They went ahead to form the first barrier on the higher grounds in areas that were non-drowned and near river valleys (Pilkey and Pilkey 2007, 25).
Barriers have over the years been considered to be young geologically and will always shift and slide with response to the ocean currents and winds available (Rice, Pilkey and Tracy 2004, 103). However, currently the barriers have been built and maintained by considering the interaction of rivers which is a complex phenomenon. The river now brings sediments from the inland areas and deposits it along the coast (Mirko 2006, 8). The wind then builds the deposited material and they become dunes. In case the dunes become stronger, there are plants that grow on it and therefore help make the sand firm on the ground. As a result, they are able to resist the soil erosion activities that are likely to occur on the tides and storms. The forces that always wash away the islands are the same forces that go ahead to deposit them in a different place hence starting the island building process again.
Initially Native Americans harvested marine resources before they were overtaken by the European settlers on the barrier islands (Morton 2008, p102). The settlers would use the islands for grazing their livestock and after the world war two, the came up with recreational facilities on the islands. They began to build hotels and rest houses that were used by tourists who visited the islands. With time, most of the land had been lost to development with many hotel buildings coming up. Scientist began studies on the possible causes for the loss of habitat on the island and what could be done about it (Mitsch 2005, 78). The barriers were now served with the role of protecting the productive marshes on the island ecosystem. All types of fish were bred and reproduced in the same area providing a market for fish for man in the area. It also serves as a source of food and at the same time a form of employment.
Cooper, Graham, Orrin, Pilkey, William, Neal and James Andrew. The Worlds Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline. California: University of California Press. 2011.
Fraser, Mary Edna and Pilkey, Orrin. A Celebration of the Worlds Barrier Islands. Columbia University Press. 2003.
Goudie, Andrew & Cuff, David, J. The Oxford Companion to Global Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2008.
 Gray, George. Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States. New York : DIANE Publishing. 2008.
Jones, Andrew, L. and Mike, Phillips. Disappearing Destinations: Climate Change and Future Challenges for Coastal Tourism. New York: CABI. 2011.
Keith, Pilkey, C., Orrin, H. Pilkey and Mary, Edna, Fraser. Global Climate Change: A Primer. Massachusetts: Duke University Press. 2011.
MacCracken, Michael, C. and Frances, Moore, John. Sudden and Disruptive Climate Change: Exploring the real risks and how we can avoid them. London: Earthscan. 2008.
Mirko, Ballarini. Optical Dating of Quartz from Young Deposits, New York: IOS Press. 2006.
Mitsch, William, J. Wetland Creations, Restoration and Conservation: the State of the Science. London: Gulf Professional Publishing. 2005.
Morton, Robert, A. National Assessment of Shoreline Change: Part 1: Historical Shoreline Changes and Associated Coastal Land Loss along the U. S. Gulf of Mexico. New York: DIANE Publishing. 2008.
Parry, Martin, L. Climate Change 2007: impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: Contribution of Working Group II to the fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. London: Cambridge University Press. 2007.
Pilkey, Orrin, H. and Linda, Pilkey-Jarvis. Useless Arithmetic: why Environmental Scientists cant Predict the Future. New York: Columbia University Press. 2007.
Pilkey, Orrin, H. and Rob, Young. The rising sea. Toronto: Island Press. 2008.
Rice, William Orrin, H. Pilkey, Tracy, Monegan. How to Read a North Carolina Beach: Bubble holes, Barking Sands, and Rippled Runnels. New York: UNC Press Books. 2004.
Robinson, Allan, R. The global Coastal Ocean: multi scale Interdisciplinary Processes. Harvard: Harvard University Press. 2005. Read More
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