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Holding Back The Sea,
This review is from: Holding Back the Sea: The Struggle for America's Natural Legacy on the Gulf Coast (Hardcover)This book is not simply another environmental thesis. It is a word-portrait of the land sinking and the sea rising and the people who live in between. And unlike many national preserves the Louisiana Coast is rich with industry and the people who live and work in this fragile ecosysytem of the land between the Mississippi River and Texas are acutely aware that it is a very delicate balance between man's use and abuse of this precious national treasure.
The people who have given America Cajun food, Cajun music, Mardi Gras and New Orleans Jazz are responsible fot the catching and distribution of 25% of the seafood consumed in the 48 states. The vanishing wetlands are criss-crossed with 20,000 miles of oil and natural gas pipelines through which flow 20% of our nation's oil, 25% of our nation's natural gas. Additionally,30% of our nation's imported oil is transferred from tankers to pipelines in South Louisiana and then on to consumers in dozens of states. 80% of this nation's offshore production flows from the Gulf of Mexico through a maze of pipelines.
During the last quarter of a century, ending in 2001, Louisiana had lost 30% of its coastline. With 2002 Hurricane Lili and Tropical Storm Isadore have greatly escalated the crisis. According to state officials insured property loss due from these two storms exceeded one billion dollars. Accessing the land loss is a huge task and researchers are working hard to put a number on the acres lost.
Hallowell has spent much of the last two decades trekking around the swamps amd marshes and getting to know the people and their love of this land. He spent countless hours in government meetings and even accompanied people from Louisiana to Washington D.C. where they lobbied for the funds to rescue the Louisiana Coast. Hallowell has a good sense of history and the way people and their cultures have altered their land,.
What sets Hallowell a part from many people who call themselves "environmentalists" is his recognition of the need for man and nature to coexist.
He writes:"Many people have yet to equate a healthy anvironment with a healthy business, a lesson Louisiana's are beginning to understand. In fact, it is the primary lesson that the country can learn from Louisiana. Ultimately, there is little room for separation between business and environment, between environment and people who operate best hand in hand."
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