Galveston Bay is the recreational of the Texas coast--a fishing, boating, and birdwatching playground for the almost four million people who live on or near it. A shallow estuary of about 350,000 acres, the bay supports a rich assortment of wildlife and a commercial fishery that pulls millions of pounds of crabs, shrimp, and oysters from the water each year. Gateway to the Port of Houston, Galveston Bay is also a major corridor for huge volumes of international shipping and is home to the nation's largest petrochemical manufacturing complex. How can such divergent and apparently contradictory activities coexist? Setting out to find some answers, Sally E. Antrobus has produced a book for residents and visitors alike that tunes them in to what is happening in, on, and to the bay--the book she herself wished for when she first came to live nearby. Beginning with a short, incisive history of the peopling of the area, Antrobus describes how the bay works ecologically and how it is put to work, for recreation and for commerce; how nature both contributes to and controls the human enterprise there; and how power and politics can destroy all the bay has to offer. Antrobus serves as an expert guide for those who want to discover hidden destinations and attend events that celebrate the life on Galveston Bay. Her resources section offers a wealth of ways to become active in local conservation efforts, reminding us there is much to hope for but also much to do to ensure the survival of this great bay.
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A HARDWORKING BAY
RECREATIONAL RICHES 5 I
HURRICANES AND FLOODS
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