"I am very impressed with this much-needed book on conservation of coastal ecosystems. This is the first major treatment of the coastal realm - the most densely populated and heavily exploited environment on Earth. I particularly admire its scope and realism. The authors include not only the primary sources of human disturbance and their environmental reverberations, but also the relevant public policy, regulatory and management issues. Ray is a well known and widely respected coastal ecosystems ecologist; and it shows here. The book presents a new and valuable introduction to the conservation of coastal ecosystems that successfully integrates the environmental, social and economic dimensions. In doing so, it provides a solid framework for developing sustainable management practices. It should have a wide readership as both a text and reference work. It will inspire cooperation between the public, policy makers and marine scientists to address the pressing problem of conserving coastal ecosystems." Professor Michael Rex, University of Massachusetts Boston
"... provides a refreshingly candid look at areas where there has been an increase in population growth without regard for sensible conservation practices. Includes a fine synthesis of overiding challenges for future conservation efforts." Southeastern Naturalist, January 2004
"...this superb scholarly treatise provides a wealth of information and ideas that will stimulate integrative thinking in the management of coastal ecosystems." CHOICE January 2004
"In summary, this book is unique in its broad approach to coastal ecosystems. The authors are to be congratulated on having brought us so much information under one cover and to have been able to integrate some of the physical, biological and economic forces that govern our coastal environments." Timothy Parsons, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Canada, Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin, February 2004
"...is well produced with an abudance of figures, tables, photographs and inserted boxes containing short case evaluations by experts....extensive citations to original literature organized by chapter...consider the book a success, especially valuable as an introduction to policy aspects of coastal conservation for students in the environmental sciences." Charles H Peterson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, August 2004
The coastal-marine realm is where land, sea, and air exchange energy and materials, and where the greatest biological diversity on Earth exists. This realm is also where most people live, but where conservation has been most neglected. Species loss, over-abundance, ill-health, abnormal behavior, and deteriorating habitats mount in the face of human extractions, additions, and physical alterations. Of even greater concern are the rates and magnitude of environmental change and an environmental debt that has resulted from centuries of human development.This book provides a window into the complex world of coastal-realm conservation science and policy. Conservation issues and mechanisms begin the text, followed by a characterization of the coastal-marine realm and a review of natural history concepts. Three cases ? the temperate Chesapeake Bay, the sub-arctic Bering Sea, and the tropical Bahamas ? illustrate real-world conservation issues. An analysis of the effects of human activities on coastal-marine ecosystems highlights increasing rates of change and fragmented governance. The book concludes with a synthesis of the major challenges for conservation and strategies for the future.The book is intended for undergraduates and graduates taking courses in coastal and marine conservation and management, as well as for those actively engaged in coastal-marine conservation activities.