August 2009, Vol. 21, No.8

Water Volumes

Watersheds, Bays and Bounded Seas, the Science and Management of Semi-Enclosed Marine Systems

Edward R. Urban Jr., Bjorn Sundby, Paola Malanotte–Rizzoli, and Jerry M. Melillo (2008). Island Press, 1718 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20009, 286 pp., $45, paperback, ISBN-10: 1-59726-503-9.

This book is volume 70 in the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) series. It provides state-of-the science information about semi-enclosed marine systems and a synthesis and review of semi-enclosed marine system management. The semi-enclosed marine environment attracts substantial public attention due to its particular sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic changes, which may result in coastal pollution, irrational use of resources, and deterioration of living conditions. The book describes how human activities could irrevocably alter these fragile ecosystems and explores threats from runoff to climate change. It also addresses the unique challenges of managing semi-enclosed marine systems, including cooperation between multiple nations.

Broken into 12 chapters, the book covers the vulnerability to environmental disturbances, governance and management of ecosystem services, integrating tools to access changes, physical processes, and biogeochemical cycling in semi-enclosed marine systems. Natural and social scientists, as well as natural resources management administrators, may find this book of interest in terms of research and more sustainable management of Earth’s resources.

Included are many tables and figures that present statistical data of semi-enclosed marine systems all over the world. In addition, the provided case studies aid comprehension of semi-enclosed marine systems.

©2009 Water Environment Federation. All rights reserved.



Gang Chen is an assistant professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florida A&M University–Florida State University (Tallahassee).