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USGS CMG InfoBank: Coastal Environment

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Comment: 01:32 - 02:35 (01:03)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed 24, Waves, Beaches and Coasts
Keywords: "James Sadd", "coastal environment", landform, beach, landmass, ocean, coastline, "geologic hazard", wave, "ocean wave", "coastal development"

Our transcription: Coastal areas are among the most beautiful and desirable places anywhere on Earth.
The coast and coastal landforms like this beach are the result of a dynamic interaction between two competing geologic agents, the rocky landmasses and the energy of the ocean.
People tend to think of these as separate and independent from one another.
But by ignoring the intimate connection between land and sea, they fail to realize that this delicately balanced system is subject to continual change.
Building walls, and boardwalks, and homes on a shifting coastline is a gamble with nature that sometimes pays off with disastrous consequences.
Clearly, then, the coast is a part of our world that needs to be observed and understood.
Consider the waves, for example.
Their rhythmic motion and sound has made watching them a popular pastime.
Yet few people have a real understanding of exactly what a wave is and how it works.
And understanding ocean waves is vital to predicting their impact on not only the beach environment, but on coastal development.

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