The Drowning of Money Island: A Forgotten Community’s Fight Against the Rising Seas Threatening Coastal America

Beacon. Oct. 2019. 224p. bibliog. ISBN 9780807083581. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780807083727. NAT HIST
Ravaged by storms and neglected by government officials who are more intent instead on focusing taxpayer dollars on the more lucrative Jersey Shore communities, the community of Bayshore is in crisis. Journalist Lewis looks at the devastating consequences of climate change on the towns comprising the Bayshore area at the southern end of New Jersey, bordered by the Delaware Bay. As a native of this area, Lewis is acquainted with the ethos of its residents: resilient, rural, and hardworking. Previous storms had interrupted life for community members, but Superstorm Sandy drastically altered the region’s landscape. This narrative is told primarily through the voices of two community members determined to preserve their property, even under mounting pressure to sell out to the Blue Acres Superstorm Sandy Program, an initiative to remove people from chronically flood-prone areas. The well-rounded narrative takes into account all the factors influencing their lives, from politics to environmental factors and the bonds people have with their land.
VERDICT A cautionary tale to add to the corpus of environmental nonfiction, this book humanizes the experience in ways that others have not.

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