Coastal Nature, Coastal Culture
Environmental Histories of the Georgia Coast

Edited by Paul S. Sutter and Paul M. Pressly

Essays that explore the distinctive environmental history of the Georgia coast


One of the unique features of the Georgia coast today is its thorough conservation. At first glance, it seems to be a place where nature reigns. But another distinctive feature of the coast is its deep and diverse human history. Indeed, few places that seem so natural hide so much human history. In Coastal Nature, Coastal Culture, editors Paul S. Sutter and Paul M. Pressly have brought together work from leading historians as well as environmental writers and activists that explores how nature and culture have coexisted and interacted across five millennia of human history along the Georgia coast, as well as how those interactions have shaped the coast as we know it today.

The essays in this volume examine how successive communities of Native Americans, Spanish missionaries, British imperialists and settlers, planters, enslaved Africans, lumbermen, pulp and paper industrialists, vacationing northerners, Gullah-Geechee, nature writers, environmental activists, and many others developed distinctive relationships with the environment and produced well-defined coastal landscapes. Together these histories suggest that contemporary efforts to preserve and protect the Georgia coast must be as respectful of the rich and multifaceted history of the coast as they are of natural landscapes, many of them restored, that now define so much of the region.

Contributors: William Boyd, S. Max Edelson, Edda L. Fields-Black,  Christopher J. Manganiello, Tiya Miles, Janisse Ray, Mart A. Stewart, Drew A. Swanson, David Hurst Thomas, and Albert G. Way.

Environmental History and the American South

Published in association with Georgia Humanities

Page count: 384 pp.
33 b&w images, 6 maps, 1 table
Trim size: 6 x 9


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Paul S. Sutter is a professor of history at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the author, most recently, of Let Us Now Praise Famous Gullies: Providence Canyon and the Soils of the South (Georgia).

Paul M. Pressly is the director emeritus of the Ossabaw Island Education Alliance and the author of On the Rim of the Caribbean: Colonial Georgia and the British Atlantic World (Georgia).