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Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Series, Sponsored by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

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Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Series, Sponsored by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

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Beaches of the Gulf Coast

Richard A. Davis

Much of the world’s population lives within thirty miles of a coast, and beaches are perhaps the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. The Gulf of Mexico is no exception: Millions of people make their homes nearby, and many of them spend considerable time at the beach, joined by millions more tourists and seasonal visitors.

In Beaches of the Gulf Coast, Richard A. Davis Jr., a veteran coastal geologist, explores the dynamics of beach formation, providing the reader with a basic understanding of the characteristics and behavior of the beach environment and what causes it to change. He compares natural beach environments with those that have experienced human intervention, and he profiles many of the common plants and animals that grow and live on and adjacent to the beach.

Following the coastline from the Florida Keys around the Gulf Coast to Varadero Beach in Cuba, Davis describes the major characteristics of beaches in each US state, with a final chapter on Mexico and Cuba. Focusing on public beaches, Davis emphasizes the special features of the beaches, indicating whether and how they are nourished—either naturally or artificially—and pointing out which beaches have problems and which ones are doing well.

Including photographs, satellite images, charts, and maps that reveal the natural processes of beach formation and erosion, Davis showcases the beauty of some of the Gulf’s “best” beaches, both popular and remote. Beaches of the Gulf Coast provides a broad range of basic knowledge for all who own beachfront property, who live near the beach, or who simply love the beach and want a better understanding of this special coastal environment.

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Coral Reefs of the Southern Gulf of Mexico

Edited by John W. Tunnell Jr., Ernesto A. Chávez and Kim Withers; Foreword by Sylvia Earle

Coral reefs declined worldwide during the 1980s and 1990s, making them perhaps the most endangered marine ecosystem on Earth. This realization spurred John W. Tunnell Jr. and others to write a comprehensive book that would raise awareness of coral reefs and their plight. Tunnell and coeditors Ernesto A. Chávez and Kim Withers present an integrated and broad-ranging synthesis, while Mexican and U.S. experts assess the current state of these fragile systems and offer a framework for their restoration. Beginning with a history of the research done in this region, Coral Reefs of the Southern Gulf of Mexico covers the geography, geology, oceanography, ecology, and biodiversity of the thirty-eight “emergent” or platform-type coral reefs in the southern Gulf. The editors include chapters on the biota—from algae to fish—followed by a look at environmental impacts, both natural (such as hurricanes and red tides) and human (such as ship groundings and dredging). The book closes with a discussion of conservation issues, which is both descriptive and prescriptive in its assessment of what has been done and what should be done to protect and manage these vital ecosystems.

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Encyclopedia of Texas Seashells

Identification, Ecology, Distribution, and History

By John W. Tunnell Jr., Jean Andrews, Noe C. Barrera, and Fabio Moretzsohn

An essential reference book for every collector and researcher of American seashells, Encyclopedia of Texas Seashells is a complete sourcebook and up-to-date identification guide, covering an unprecedented nine hundred species of seashells and mollusks that reside in the marine habitats of the Gulf of Mexico. Special features: Illustrated guide to the general features of mollusks Family overviews Descriptions of deep-water, tropical, coral reef, and bank species Information boxes on notable species Assemblage photos of dominant species in primary Texas habitats Checklist and glossary This reference contains 987 detailed and data-rich color images for even the tiniest shells, a valuable primer on shell collecting as a hobby, and a wealth of entries on the history of use and study, habitats and ecology, shell characteristics, distribution, biology, and identification. Covering species that range from Florida to South America, the Encyclopedia of Texas Seashells will also be a valuable resource for anyone interested in seashells of the Western Atlantic.

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Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota

Volume 4, Ecosystem-Based Management

John W. Day

The fourth volume in the Harte Research Institute’s landmark scientific series on the Gulf of Mexico provides a comprehensive study of ecosystem-based management, analyzing key coastal ecosystems in eleven Gulf Coast states from Florida to Quintana Roo and presenting case studies in which this integrated approach was tested in both the US and in Mexico. Two overview chapters cover related information on Cuba and on coastal zone management in Mexico. The comprehensive data on management policies and practices in this volume give researchers, policy makers, and other concerned parties the most up-to-date information available, supporting and informing initiatives to sustain healthy ecosystems so that they can, in turn, sustain human social and economic systems in this important transnational region.

Combined with the second volume in this series, which examines the coastal and ocean-based economy of the Gulf region, Ecosystem-Based Management provides pivotal empirical information on how human activity can be managed in an environmentally sustainable way. This important research points the way to better stewardship of the Gulf’s valuable natural resources, ensuring their availability for future generations.

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Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota

Volume I, Biodiversity

Edited by Darryl L. Felder and David K. Camp

The many economic factors affecting sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico region are perhaps as important as the waves on its shores and its abundant marine life. This second volume in Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota (a multivolumed work edited by John W. Tunnell Jr., Darryl L. Felder, and Sylvia A. Earle) assesses the Gulf of Mexico as a single economic region.The book provides information and baseline data useful for assessing the goals of economic and environmental sustainability in the Gulf. In five chapters, economists, political scientists, and ecologists from Florida, California, Louisiana, Texas, Maine, and Mexico cover topics such as: the idea of the Gulf as a transnational community; the quantitative value of its productivity; a summary of the industries dependent on the Gulf, including shipping, tourism, oil and gas mining, fisheries, recreation, and real estate; the human uses and activities that affect coastal economies; and the economic trends evident in Mexico's drive toward coastal development.This first-of-its-kind reference work will be useful to scientists, economists, industry leaders, and policy makers whose work requires an understanding of the economic issues involved in science, business, trade, exploration, development, and commerce in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota

Volume II, Ocean and Coastal Economy

Edited by James C. Cato

This landmark scientific reference for scientists, researchers, and students of marine biology tackles the monumental task of taking a complete biodiversity inventory of the Gulf of Mexico with full biotic and biogeographic information. Presenting a comprehensive summary of knowledge of Gulf biota through 2004, the book includes seventy-seven chapters, which list more than fifteen thousand species in thirty-eight phyla or divisions and were written by 138 authors from seventy-one institutions in fourteen countries.This first volume of Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota, a multivolumed set edited by John W. Tunnell Jr., Darryl L. Felder, and Sylvia A. Earle, provides information on each species' habitat, biology, and geographic range, along with full references and a narrative introduction to the group, which opens each chapter.

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Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota

Volume III, Geology

Edited by Noreen A. Buster and Charles W. Holmes

Volume 3 of Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota; a series edited by John W. Tunnell Jr., Darryl L. Felder, and Sylvia A. Earle     A continuation of the landmark scientific reference series from the Harte Research Institute for Gulf Of Mexico Studies, this volume provides the most up-to-date systematic, cohesive, and comprehensive description of the geology of the Gulf of Mexico basin. The book’s six sections address the Gulf’s origin (including petroleum resources), processes (including climate change), and coral reefs.   Knowledge about the foundation of the ocean environment remains vital to the understanding of the mineral and marine resources of the Gulf as well as the increasing effects of sedimentation and global warming. With this volume, much of the information necessary for a full view of the geology of the Gulf in the U.S., Mexico, and Cuba that was previously sequestered in the files of industry or government has been made more readily available for scientists, researchers, and students. It provides valuable synthesis and interpretation, representing nearly everything known about the geology of the Gulf of Mexico in the early twenty-first century.   Four years in the making, this monumental compilation is both a lasting record of the current state of knowledge and the starting point for a new millennium of study.

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Marine Plants of the Texas Coast

Roy L. Lehman

Written for biology students, teachers, nature lovers, amateur naturalists, conservation workers, and parks and wildlife personnel, this up-to-date, easy-to-use guide describes the marine plants of the Gulf of Mexico coast. The author’s photographs accompany the updated identification keys, which are also visually oriented and simple to use.

Veteran botanist and educator Roy L. Lehman describes the plants in four major sections, covering the common shoreline plants, seagrasses, mangroves, and marine algae (red, brown, and green seaweeds). Each section begins with an introduction that gives an overview of the plant group and includes information on the important traits and terminology used for identification. A simple key to the family or order directs the reader to the appropriate section, where the text is arranged alphabetically by family and then by genus and species. Each genus is illustrated by high quality photographs that include a close-up of each plant and images of its reproductive structures.

Marine Plants of the Texas Coast collects these unique species for the first time in a single volume. As coastal issues, such as hurricane preparedness, beach erosion, wetland mitigation, freshwater inflows, and more, remain in the forefront of public concern, this botanical reference should find a permanent place on the bookshelves of scientists, policy makers, and citizens alike.

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Sea-Level Change in the Gulf of Mexico

Richard A. Davis Jr.

A must-read for Gulf Coast scientists, naturalists, and residents . . .   From Florida to Mexico and along the shores of Cuba, the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico are vulnerable to sea-level rise because of their fragile and low-lying shorelines and adjacent coastal environments. In addition to wetlands, river deltas, beaches, and barrier islands, millions of people who live and work along the Gulf coast are susceptible to the affects of both intense storms in the short term and a gradual rise in sea level over the longer term.     While global warming headlines any current discussion of this topic and is certainly a major factor in sea-level change, it is not the only factor. Earthquakes and other crustal shifts, the El Niño/La Niña phenomena, river impoundment and sedimentation, tides, and weather can all affect local, regional, and global sea levels.   In Sea-Level Change in the Gulf of Mexico, Richard A. Davis Jr. looks at the various causes and effects of rising and falling sea levels in the Gulf of Mexico, beginning with the Gulf’s geological birth over 100 million years ago, and focusing on the last 20,000 years, when global sea levels began rising as the glaciers of the last major ice age melted. Davis reviews the current situation, especially regarding beach erosion and loss of wetlands, and offers a preview of the future, when the Gulf Coast will change markedly as the twenty-first century progresses.   Amply illustrated and written in a clear, straightforward style, Sea-Level Change in the Gulf of Mexico is a valuable resource for anyone who cares deeply about understanding the past, present, and future of life along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  

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Texas Seashells

A Field Guide

John W. Tunnell

Walking along the beach and picking up seashells is a favorite pastime enjoyed by millions of people every year. This field guide covers three hundred of the better-known or more common seashells found on Texas coastlines, and anyone interested in identifying and collecting shells along Texas bays and Gulf coast beaches will find Texas Seashells an essential companion. With more than 600 detailed and data-rich color photographs, each species with at least two views, Texas Seashells is sure to make shell identification fun, quick, and easy. Those new to collecting can get started with the introductory chapters on building your shell collection, local laws and regulations protecting this resource, seashell clubs, adopting a “Sheller’s Creed,” and basic seashell taxonomy. A glossary is also included for technical terms not defined in the text.
Although this field guide is for seashells found along the Texas coast, it will also be useful in other regions of the Gulf of Mexico and  western Atlantic Ocean.

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