Norman T. Gilroy


The 1970s are, it seems, the beginning of an "age of environmental awareness " Never before has our nation been so conscious of the necessity for protection of the quality of its waters, its air, its aesthetic environment, and the productivity of its earth, and never has it been so aware of the potential, within man's actions for progress for the pollution of his environment or the creation of imbalance within the natural dynamic system The realization is growing that the system of natural dynamics, the ecosystem and the natural aesthetic environment in which we live are, in fact, part of a complete interrelated, interdependent and synergistic "Environmental System " Man made modification of any part of the System carries with it the potential of effects extending throughout the rest of the system, often resulting in major, and at times catastrophic, modification of the natural balance of the physical environment as we know it today Though the principles of environmental sensitivity are only newly being adopted by our media, our community leaders and our elected officials, there are some who have been advocating and practicing the principles of environmental planning for some time It has long seemed logical that major engineering or planning programs, capable of generating extensive modifications to the environment into which they are interposed, should be considered, throughout all their phases in terms of the entire spectrum of environmental factors which make up the site and its surroundings—yet rarely is this the case An area of particular environmental sensitivity lies in our ocean and along our coastline Here nature's forces are at their most dynamic, while her ecological delicacy is often at its most vulnerable The ocean's waters frequently act as a transfer medium, permitting the impact of man's modification at a specific location to be felt over great distances We need only to remember any of numerous examples of the loss of beaches, radical modification of coastline characteristics, extensive changes or virtual annihilation of segments of our coastal ecosystem, and the effects of heated waste water emitted from power plant cooling systems upon adjacent ecosystems, to be aware of the potential effects of man's change upon downcoast areas within the ocean system.


environmental planning; bay system; lagoon system

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9753/icce.v12.%25p