|A seacoast is the dynamic border between two worlds-the terrestrial and the marine. |
In the realm of life science, we can observe marine animals that inhabit the shoreline and tidepools. In the realm of Earth science, we can observe how the ocean's currents, waves, and winds sculpt the shoreline, alternately carrying off and depositing sand. From the air, you can actually see the waves create a perfectly scalloped beach on Nantucket Island.
Not only do these forces shape the land, they affect the living populations. Sometimes animals that inhabit deeper water are thrown off course. They come close to the shoreline and may actually be found on the beach. They may be injured, sick, or disoriented and soon become cold, hungry, or dehydrated. Such is the case for various species of dolphin, porpoise, seal, whale, and turtle that become stranded along the Atlantic coastline. But there is help for some animals. In many locations, when beached animals are sighted, professionals and volunteers are on the scene. Sick, cold, or injured animals are immediately placed in a rehabilitation program with the intent of getting them well enough to be returned to their natural habitat. Often the animals are tagged with a transmitter for future tracking.