Wonders of the National Parks

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Saturday, Jun 3, 2017, 4:00 pm

Edgewood Auditorium
575 Osgood Street
North Andover, MA

Lecture 19 – National Seashores and Lakeshore

A discontinuous 2,000-mile ribbon of long, thin, low-lying islands traces the Atlantic Coast of the United States from New England to the bottom of the Florida Keys. Another traces the Gulf Coast west from the Florida panhandle to the Mexican border and beyond. Behind these so-called barrier islands sit protected bays and sounds, along with salt marshes and sometimes mangrove forests. The islands evolve and change on human timescales. Barrier islands define much of the coastline at all but one of the current U.S. national seashores – Point-Reyes, the only national seashore on the Pacific Coast – due to the very different geology of the coast near the San Andreas Fault.

Lecture 20 – Reefs: Virgin Island, Florida, Texas

In Virgin Islands, Biscayne, and Dry Tortugas National Parks, corals and other reef creates are helping create new carbonate rock – the limestones and dolomites geologists of the future will map and explore. They’re also critically important today, supporting incredibly productive ecosystems, harboring biodiversity, and helping shelter the communities behind them from the brunt of calamitous forces such as tsunamis and hurricanes. Each park differs from the other, and each has natural wonders besides reefs. In addition, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is home to one of the world’s largest fossil coral reefs.


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