Suggested Reading List
A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore: From the Bay of Fundy to Cape Hatteras
Author: Kenneth L. Gosner
Description: More than 1,000 illustrations, arranged according to visual similarities, show plant and animal species of the Atlantic Coast from the Bay of Fundy to Cape Hatteras. This guide includes information on how to locate each species by geographic range, tidal range, tidal level, season, topography, and climate.
Atlantic Shorelines: Natural History and Ecology
Author: Mark D. Bertness
Description: Atlantic Shorelines is an introduction to the natural history and ecology of shoreline communities on the East Coast of North America. Writing for a broad audience, Mark Bertness examines how distinctive communities of plants and animals are generated on rocky shores and in salt marshes, mangroves, and soft sediment beaches on Atlantic shorelines.
The book provides a comprehensive background for understanding the basic principles of intertidal ecology and the unique conditions faced by intertidal organisms. It describes the history of the Atlantic Coast, tides, and near-shore oceanographic processes that influence shoreline organisms; explains primary production in shoreline systems, intertidal food webs, and the way intertidal organisms survive; sets out the unusual reproductive challenges of living in an intertidal habitat, and the role of recruitment in shaping intertidal communities; and outlines how biological processes like competition, predation, facilitation, and ecosystem engineering generate the spatial structure of intertidal communities.
The last part of the book focuses on the ecology of the three main shoreline habitats--rocky shores, soft sediment beaches, and shorelines vegetated with salt marsh plants and mangroves--and discusses in detail conservation issues associated with each of them.
Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay
Author: William W. Warner
Description: William Warner exhibits his skill as a naturalist and as a writer in this Pulitzer Prize-winning study of the pugnacious Atlantic blue crab and of its Chesapeake Bay territory. This wonderful work contains all you ever wanted to know about the life cycle of one particular kind of crab that lives in Chesapeake Bay (the kind you probably smashed with mallets if you ever went to that area). Surprisingly, for most of its life, the Atlantic blue crab has nothing to do with beer. Taking it for a focus, Warner draws connections with the sea, the rivers, the crab-friendly environment that produced such a wealth of the creatures, and then the people who live from that wealth, the islanders who lived isolated for centuries, but are now firmly within the web of modern life. Warner tells of the marketing of crabs, the catching of other Chesapeake products like oysters, and even of festivals like a Miss Crustacean contest ! You can learn about esoterica like crab pots, the Waterman's Union, the religious heritage of crabbers, and lots more.
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge: An Ecological Treasure
Author: Irene Hinke-Sacilotto
Description: Beautiful photos of Chincoteague National Wildlife: birds, ponies, sunsets. Not a lot of detailed information but it is a photography book primarily and nice to look at and dream of being there.
Common Plants of the Mid-Atlantic Coast: A Field Guide
Author: Gene M. Silberhorn
Description: From eelgrass rooted in wrack lines on windswept back shores to hardy maritime forests sculpted by strong winds and salt spray, the Mid-Atlantic coast is rich with a variety of habitats and an abundance of common, if not always familiar, plants. In Common Plants of the Mid-Atlantic Coast, Gene M. Silberhorn provides a field guide to the plants found along the coast from Long Island Sound to North Carolina's barrier islands. This introduction to the fragile ecology and remarkable beauty of the flora of the coastal region was highly praised by reviewers when it was first published in 1982.
This revised edition retains the features that earned it acclaim and provides a wealth of new information. The three sections of the book correspond to the natural divisions of the landscape: Section One covers beaches, dunes, and marine forests; Section Two includes salt and brackish marshes; and Section Three reviews plants found in tidal and nontidal freshwater wetlands. Each section of Common Plants begins with an introduction that describes the characteristics of the area and the flora to be found there. Individual plant entries follow. Delicate illustrations accompany facing page descriptions that aid in identification and provide concise background information, as well as delightful anecdotes.
Plant entries now includes the subheadings: "Growth Habit and Diagnostic Characteristics," where the reader will find descriptions of general appearance, "Distribution," which tells where along the coast the plant is found, "Habitat," and, particularly important in this age of heightened environmental awareness, "Ecological Value/Benefits." The author has also added each plant's "Wetland Indicator Status," which estimates a species' frequency of occurrence in wetland habitats. Seventeen species have been added to this fully updated second edition. The appendices now include websites for various federal and state, coastal parks, refuges, and natural areas.
Kayaking Made Easy, 3rd: A Manual for Beginners with Tips for the Experienced (Made Easy Series)
Author: Dennis Stuhaug
Description: This newly expanded and revised third edition of Kayaking Made Easy: A Manual For Beginners With Tips For The Experienced by Dennis Stuhaug is a complete and thorough "how to" guide to the sport and recreation of kayaking. Providing readers with a concisely presenting approach to preparing for and engaging in kayaking, Kayaking Made Easy offers a truly "user friendly" guide to everything from choosing the right hull for individual needs, outfitting the kayak with seat, flotation, spray deck and other fittings, mastering basic maneuvers from the sweep stroke to the sculling brace, and assembling a kayaking wardrobe that is both comfortable and affordable, to safe navigation through the hazards of wind, fog, eddies and rip currents, and ensuring that all companions, including kids, enjoy the active and fun ride. A welcome addition to personal and community library reference collections, Kayaking Made Easy is very strongly recommended reading for novice kayakers, and has much of value to offer even seasoned kayakers.
Warning: This instruction guide relies heavily on written descriptions rather than pictures.
Life and Death of the Salt Marsh
Author: Mildred and John Teal
Description: Life and Death of the Salt Marsh is a book that focuses on many aspects of the ecology of the salt marsh. To quote the authors, it is "about the marshes of the East Coast of North America: how they were formed; why they continue to exist; the interplay of plants and animals; and the effect of that influential animal, man." This book does a very thorough job of covering all these topics. It begins with the story of one particular salt marsh, how it formed, what happened to it when colonists first arrived and used it for hay production, and its eventual death after human impact became so great as to prevent marsh recovery. The remainder of the book gives detailed descriptions of the processes and organisms that affect the salt marsh. These include the geology, history of glaciation, plant and animal species, seasons, and topics relating to marsh pollution and conservation. Considering that this book was written in 1969, thirty years ago, it still seems to have good scientific accuracy. It is interesting to look at this book from a historical perspective, especially the sections on conservation. Preservation of marshes is important for many reasons. The main reason for preservation being that a large variety of species rely on salt marshes during part or all of their life cycle. Many of these species are commercially viable and are (or were when the book was written) important to the East Coast economy. The chapter on pollution control was very interesting. It includes discussion of the use of DDT. Most ecologist today have heard of or read Silent Spring and know about the dangers of DDT. Life and Death of the Salt Marsh was written just before Silent Spring, by Janet Carson, and brings up the many dangers and harmful side effects of DDT. Obvious DDT was an area of concern for many people in fields related to ecology in the late 60's. The entire book could be related to many aspects of ecology and is thus relevant to anyone interested in the ecology of salt marshes.
Misty of Chincoteague
Author: Marguerite Henry
Description: On an island off the coasts of Virginia and Maryland lives a centuries-old band of wild ponies. Among them is the most mysterious of all, Phantom, a rarely seen mare that eludes all efforts to capture her--that is, until a young boy and girl lay eyes on her and determine that they can't live without her. The frenzied roundup that follows on the next "Pony Penning Day" does indeed bring Phantom into their lives, in a way they never would have suspected. Phantom would forever be a creature of the wild. But her gentle, loyal colt Misty is another story altogether.
Marguerite Henry's Newbery Honor Book has captivated generations of boys and girls both with its thrilling descriptions of true incidents from the tiny island of Chincoteague, and its realistic yet wonderfully magical atmosphere. This story of an animal brought into captivity poignantly reveals the powerful opposing forces of humans and nature. Wesley Dennis's pen-and-ink ponies are masterfully depicted with rippling muscles, shaggy coats, and free spirits.
Off 13: The Eastern Shore of Virginia Guidebook
Author: Kirk Mariner
Description: Kirk Mariner's book "Off 13 - The Eastern Shore of Virginia Guidebook" offers a highly informative and entertaining guide to an overlooked but tranquil peninsula bounded by the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, not far from the Nation's Capital. Many people know of Chincoteague but may not be aware that the rest of the Virginia eastern shore is well worth exploring. "Off 13" is full of interesting anecdotes and historical information about the area and its many little towns as well as useful and practical information for travellers.
Once upon an island: The history of Chincoteague
Author: Kirk Mariner
Description: This book is not just another collection of essays and sepia pictures about a local landmark or town. Kirk Mariner's review is a thoughtful and thorough history of a small island community - as thorough as one can be when natural history and the lack of written records affect the narrative as often as it does Chincoteague.
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America
Author: David Allen Sibley and Rick Cech
Description: Providing birders the convenience of portability, Sibley's newest volume breaks down the information in The Sibley Guide to Birds into specific regions (The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America will be published the same month). The guide includes much of the basic information in the Guide to Birds, such as the parts of a bird and general color-coded maps, but focuses most of its attention on birds who make their home east of the Rocky Mountains, such as the Double-crested Cormorant and the Eastern Screech-Owl. The color-coded maps that accompany each bird show where the birds live throughout North America, so that birders in, say, Pennsylvania, will know to look for the Northern Mockingbird in California as well. And, of course, Sibley's beautiful full-colored paintings of birds jump out at every page-even in small format.
True Tales of the Eastern Shore
Author: Kirk Mariner
Wallops Island (Images of America: Virginia) (Paperback)
Author: Nan Devincent Hayes and Bowen Bennett
Description: Located in Accomack County on Virginiaís Eastern Shore, Wallops Island was once a primitive swath of land, uncivilized but by the wild ponies and mosquitoes that made its scrub-covered shores their home. But as the centuries passed, the wildness of the island was radically altered by the influx of colonists, then vacationers, and, eventually, some of the brightest scientific minds in the country. ÝÝThe history of Wallops Island has been one of transition. In the colonial period, John Wallop, an industrious man and self-made millionaire, was granted much of the islandís acreage by the English Crown for providing assistance to new colonists trying to reach Virginia. In 1889, Wallops Island was bought and converted into a vacation destination for a handful of wealthy families from Pennsylvania, who, in turn, sold the island to the federal government in the 1940s. Once in the hands of NASA the island was transformed into a center for the high-tech development of rockets, missiles, and the means for space travel. From weather balloons and Tiamat missiles to aerodynamics and hurricane research, the Wallops Island Flight Facility and its predecessors have been instrumental in the evolution and success of the American space program.