This Fine Piece of Water (Paperback)

An Environmental History of Long Island Sound

By Tom Andersen

Yale University Press, 9780300102871, 274pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2004

List Price: 24.00*
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Description

Long Island Sound is not only the most heavily used estuary in North America, it is also one of the most beautiful waterways, with picturesque seascapes and landfalls. But centuries of pollution and other abuse have gradually been killing off its marine life and have pushed the Sound to the brink of disaster. This fascinating book traces the history of the Sound and its use as a resource from the time of contact between the Native Americans and Dutch traders through the suburban sprawl of recent decades—and tells how a group of scientists and citizens has been working to save the Sound from ruin.

Tom Andersen begins by describing the dramatic events of the summer of 1987, when a condition called hypoxia (lack of dissolved oxygen in the water brought about by a combination of pollution and other factors) killed large numbers of fish and lobsters in the Sound. He discusses how scientists first documented and explained the development of hypoxia and how research and cleanup are now being carried out to restore the Sound. Interweaving current events, natural history, and human history, Andersen presents a cautionary tale of exploitation without concern for preservation.