In this comprehensive, one-volume reference, Nature Conservancy scientist Bryan P. Piazza poses five key questions: —What is the Atchafalaya River Basin? —Why is it important? —How have its hydrology and natural habitats been managed? —What is its current state? —How do we ensure its survival? For more than five centuries, the Atchafalaya River Basin has captured the flow of the Mississippi River, becoming its main distributary as it reaches the Gulf of Mexico in south Louisiana. This dynamic environment, comprising almost a million acres of the lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Mississippi River Deltaic Plain, is perhaps best known for its expansive swamp environments dominated by baldcypress, water tupelo, and alligators. But the Atchafalaya River Basin contains a wide range of habitats and one of the highest levels of biodiversity on the North American continent. Piazza has compiled and synthesized the body of scientific knowledge for the Atchafalaya River Basin, documenting the ecological state of the basin and providing a baseline of understanding. His research provides a crucial resource for future planning. He evaluates some common themes that have emerged from the research and identifies important scientific questions that remain unexplored.
Author: Gwen Roland
Publisher: LSU Press
In the early 1970s, two idealistic young people -- Gwen Carpenter Roland and Calvin Voisin -- decided to leave civilization and re-create the vanished simple life of their great-grandparents in the heart of Louisiana's million-acre Atchafalaya River Basin Swamp. Armed with a box of crayons and a book called How to Build Your Home in the Woods, they drew up plans to recycle a slave-built structure into a houseboat. Without power tools or building experience they constructed a floating dwelling complete with a brick fireplace. Towed deep into the sleepy waters of Bloody Bayou, it was their home for eight years. This is the tale of the not-so-simple life they made together -- days spent fishing, trading, making wine, growing food, and growing up -- told by Gwen with grace, economy, and eloquence. Not long after they took up swamp living, Gwen and Calvin met a young photographer named C. C. Lockwood, who shared their "back to the earth" values. His photographs of the couple going about their daily routine were published in National Geographic magazine, bringing them unexpected fame. More than a quarter of a century later, after Gwen and Calvin had long since parted, one of Lockwood's photos of them appeared in a National Geographic collector's edition entitled 100 Best Pictures Unpublished -- and kindled the interest of a new generation. With quiet wisdom, Gwen recounts her eight-year voyage of discovery -- about swamp life, wildlife, and herself. A keen observer of both the natural world and the ways of human beings, she transports readers to an unfamiliar and exotic place.
Designing the Bayous
Author: Martin Reuss
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Originally published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this history of the Louisiana Atchafalaya Basin was hailed as a balanced yet unflinching account of the transformation of an area that has endured perhaps more human manipulation than any other natural environment in the nation. Reuss provides a new preface to bring us up-to-date on the state of the basin, which remains both an engineering contrivance and natural wonder.
At nearly 1.4 million acres, the Atchafalaya Basin in south central Louisiana comprises America's largest swamp wilderness. Award-winning nature photographer C. C. Lockwood is the foremost chronicler of this natural treasure. What began as a curious side-trip in 1973 became a decades-long love affair, and for more than thirty years, Lockwood has explored the Atchafalaya's waters and captured its haunting beauty on film. Now, twenty-five years after the publication of his first book, he returns to his favorite subject in C. C. Lockwood's Atchafalaya. Lockwood revisits and reflects on the places he has frequented most in the swamp, recalling his escapades both long past and recent among gators and skeeters. He shares the thoughts of basin residents about how the Atchafalaya has changed over time, for better and for worse. Increases and decreases in various bird and other animal populations, changes in water levels and consistency, flora mainstays and trees gone missing, burgeoning aquatic vegetation - all are keenly observed by this explorer. Lockwood finds undiminished the seductive seasonal and diurnal moods of the swamp: autumn and spring, sunset and moonrise, as breathtaking now as in the past. In nearly one hundred color photographs, Lockwood documents the Atchafalaya's timeless beauty. He shows amazingly diverse and abundant wildlife, rookeries with thousands of egrets and herons, waters with billions of crawfish, and ridges with deer, squirrel, and woodcock. Waters run deep in Lockwood's soul, as evidenced in his intimate treatment of the meandering bayous fringed with bald cypress trees, the many glassy lakes reflecting vegetation into double images, and the mighty Atchafalaya River - the lifeline of the swamp.
Author: Mike Tidwell
The Cajun coast of Louisiana is home to a way of life as unique, complex, and beautiful as the terrain itself. As award-winning travel writer Mike Tidwell journeys through the bayou, he introduces us to the food and the language, the shrimp fisherman, the Houma Indians, and the rich cultural history that makes it unlike any other place in the world. But seeing the skeletons of oak trees killed by the salinity of the groundwater, and whole cemeteries sinking into swampland and out of sight, Tidwell also explains why each introduction may be a farewell—as the storied Louisiana coast steadily erodes into the Gulf of Mexico. Part travelogue, part environmental exposé, Bayou Farewell is the richly evocative chronicle of the author's travels through a world that is vanishing before our eyes. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Louisiana Coast
Author: Gay M. Gomez
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Hurricane Katrina gave the nation an urgent reminder of the extent and value of Louisiana’s wetlands when daily discussions of subsidence and sedimentation revealed how much ordinary coastal processes affect humanity—and vice versa. Now, with a native Louisiana naturalist as a guide, readers can learn how best to enjoy, appreciate, and protect this vanishing landscape. Part natural history and part field guide, The Louisiana Coast takes readers across one of only three major chenier plains in the world to the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest river basin swamp on the continent, and through the network of bayous, natural levees, cypress swamps, marshes, and barrier islands of the Deltaic Plain. Color photographs illustrate chapters on vegetation, wildlife, and the rich human culture that defines Louisiana. With the intimate knowledge of one whose life has been shaped by this remarkable environment, author Gay M. Gomez leads visitors to nature trails, wildlife refuges, Audubon sanctuaries, and parks. A visitor’s guide at the end of the book features destinations open to the public for wildlife watching, photography, and even hunting, fishing, crabbing, and cast netting. Everyone who lives in or visits Louisiana and anyone interested in the conservation, ecology, natural history, and geography of the region will appreciate Gomez’s exploration of the land, its people, its resources, and its vulnerabilities. The Louisiana Coast will encourage readers to share the author’s love for this vital, distinct, and beautiful place.
This sweeping study traces the development of water policy in the United States from the 19th century to the present day, exploring the role of legislation in appropriating access to water to the American people. • Addresses recent events including the handling of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill in the Gulf • Consolidates difficult-to-locate documents on United States water policy • Covers topics as diverse as water doctrine, water rights, pollution control, wildlife conservation, invasive species regulation, and environmental damage mitigation • Describes the impact of climate change on water supply and safety • Focuses solely on the water issues affecting the United States
Author: Jeffrey J. Opperman, Peter B. Moyle, Joan L. Florsheim, Eric W. Larsen, Amber D. Manfree
Publisher: Univ of California Press
"Floodplains provides an overview of floodplains and their management in temperate regions. It synthesizes decades of research on floodplain ecosystems, explaining hydrologic, geomorphic and ecological processes and how these processes can provide a range of benefits to society under appropriate management. Due to the widespread alteration of temperate floodplains, these benefits are often not realized. Drawing on the framework of reconciliation ecology, the authors explore how new concepts for floodplain ecosystem restoration and management can provide a broader range of benefits to society, ranging from healthy fish populations to flood-risk reduction. Case studies from California's Central Valley and elsewhere in temperate regions show how innovative management approaches are reshaping rivers and floodplains around the world."--Provided by publisher.
Covers the area between the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, the Cassiquiare Canal, and the Atlantic Ocean (Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, parts of Brazil, parts of Venezuela).
The World's Largest Wetlands
Author: Lauchlan H. Fraser, Paul A. Keddy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Experts share their understanding of the ecology of large wetlands, their significance and their conservation.
The Control of Nature
Author: John McPhee
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
While John McPhee was working on his previous book, Rising from the Plains, he happened to walk by the engineering building at the University of Wyoming, where words etched in limestone said: "Strive on--the control of Nature is won, not given." In the morning sunlight, that central phrase--"the control of nature"--seemed to sparkle with unintended ambiguity. Bilateral, symmetrical, it could with equal speed travel in opposite directions. For some years, he had been planning a book about places in the world where people have been engaged in all-out battles with nature, about (in the words of the book itself) "any struggle against natural forces--heroic or venal, rash or well advised--when human beings conscript themselves to fight against the earth, to take what is not given, to rout the destroying enemy, to surround the base of Mt. Olympus demanding and expecting the surrender of the gods." His interest had first been sparked when he went into the Atchafalaya--the largest river swamp in North America--and had learned that virtually all of its waters were metered and rationed by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' project called Old River Control. In the natural cycles of the Mississippi's deltaic plain, the time had come for the Mississippi to change course, to shift its mouth more than a hundred miles and go down the Atchafalaya, one of its distributary branches. The United States could not afford that--for New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and all the industries that lie between would be cut off from river commerce with the rest of the nation. At a place called Old River, the Corps therefore had built a great fortress--part dam, part valve--to restrain the flow of the Atchafalaya and compel the Mississippi to stay where it is. In Iceland, in 1973, an island split open without warning and huge volumes of lava began moving in the direction of a harbor scarcely half a mile away. It was not only Iceland's premier fishing port (accounting for a large percentage of Iceland's export economy) but it was also the only harbor along the nation's southern coast. As the lava threatened to fill the harbor and wipe it out, a physicist named Thorbjorn Sigurgeirsson suggested a way to fight against the flowing red rock--initiating an all-out endeavor unique in human history. On the big island of Hawaii, one of the world's two must eruptive hot spots, people are not unmindful of the Icelandic example. McPhee went to Hawaii to talk with them and to walk beside the edges of a molten lake and incandescent rivers. Some of the more expensive real estate in Los Angeles is up against mountains that are rising and disintegrating as rapidly as any in the world. After a complex coincidence of natural events, boulders will flow out of these mountains like fish eggs, mixed with mud, sand, and smaller rocks in a cascading mass known as debris flow. Plucking up trees and cars, bursting through doors and windows, filling up houses to their eaves, debris flows threaten the lives of people living in and near Los Angeles' famous canyons. At extraordinary expense the city has built a hundred and fifty stadium-like basins in a daring effort to catch the debris. Taking us deep into these contested territories, McPhee details the strategies and tactics through which people attempt to control nature. Most striking in his vivid depiction of the main contestants: nature in complex and awesome guises, and those who would attempt to wrest control from her--stubborn, often ingenious, and always arresting characters.
Oil in the Environment
Author: John A. Wiens
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
What light does nearly 25 years of scientific study of the Exxon Valdez oil spill shed on the fate and effects of a spill? How can the results help in assessing future spills? How can ecological risks be assessed and quantified? In this, the first book on the effects of Exxon Valdez in 15 years, scientists directly involved in studying the spill provide a comprehensive perspective on, and synthesis of, scientific information on long-term spill effects. The coverage is multidisciplinary, with chapters discussing a range of issues including effects on biota, successes and failures of post-spill studies and techniques, and areas of continued disagreement. An even-handed and critical examination of more than two decades of scientific study, this is an invaluable guide for studying future oil spills and, more broadly, for unraveling the consequences of any large environmental disruption. For access to a full bibliography of related publications, follow the Resources link at www.cambridge.org/9781107027176.
Designing the bayous
Author: Martin Reuss, United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Office of History
The American Sea
Author: Rezneat M. Darnell
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
For more than a decade, Rezneat Darnell worked on this major synthesis of what is known about the Gulf of Mexico. His goal: to bring a deeper understanding of “the American Sea” to students, scientists, managers, and educated citizens of the public at large. The American Sea builds on Darnell’s own research, the research of his graduate students, government agency research reports, data synthesis reports, and literature summaries to present a holistic view of the Gulf of Mexico. Although he is recognized as a pioneer in the study of continental shelf ecology, Darnell largely resisted specialization, remaining throughout his career “the writer and bringer together of things.” Here, he has written a book that embraces history, geology, geography, meteorology, chemistry, biology, ecology, and human relations in one comprehensive reference. Although it is thorough and meticulous in coverage, what comes through in these pages is the enormity, complexity, and mystery of the world that lies just beyond the Texas vacation beach, the Louisiana wetland, or the Mexico fishing village. In addition to photographs of deep water and other organisms that are included in the book, a number of illustrations have been added to provide excellent visual material, including historical and ocean floor maps and many works of original art depicting marine species, sea turtles, fish, and crustaceans.
The Ecology and Management of Wetlands
Author: Donal D. Hook, W. H. McKee Jr, H. K. Smith, James Gregory, V. G. Burrell Jr, M. Richard DeVoe, R. E. Sojka, Stephen Gilbert, Roger Banks, L. H. Stolzy, Chris Brooks, Thomas D. Matthews, T. H. Shear
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
This book contains the proceedings of a symposium held at the College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA, 16-20 June 1986. The seed for this symposium arose from a group of physiologists , soU scientists and biochemists that met in Leningrad, USSR in July 1975 at the 12th Botanical Conference in a Session organized by Professor B.B. Vartepetian. This group and others later conspired to contribute to a book entitled Plant Life in Anaerobic Environments (eds. D. D. Hook and R. M. M. Crawford, Ann Arbor Science, 1978). Several contributors to the book suggested in 1983 that a broad-scoped symposium on wetlands would be useful (a) in facilitating communication among the diverse research groups involved in wetlands research (b) in bringing researchers and managers together and (c) in presenting a com prehensive and balanced coverage on the status of ecology ami management of wetlands from a global perspective. With this encouragement, the senior editor organized a Plan ning Committee that encompassed expertise from many disciplines of wetland scientists and managers. This Committee, with input from their colleagues around the world, organized a symposium that addressed almost every aspect of wetland ecology and management.