For the past five weeks, oil has been spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, and chemical dispersants have rained down upon the ocean’s surface. Judging by the news this morning, the massive oil leak may have been stopped — but for how long, only time will tell.
What of the ocean, and waters most of us will never see? Thankfully, there are many, many books that can take you there, and lead you to new levels of understanding and appreciation. The Land Library has many volumes warning of the degradation of the seas (such as Sylvia Earle’s book pictured above), plus many more that celebrate, with word and image, the startling blue world in our midst. Such a book is one of our latest additions: Fishes of the Open Ocean, a thickly illustrated resource to the world of the open sea, ranging from tiny drift fish to plankton-straining whale-sharks, and streamlined predators such as tuna, marlin, and sailfish. This book, along with Sylvia Earle’s inspiring call to arms, helps us appreciate the oceanic web of life, and how fragile something so vast actually is.
pictured above: The World is Blue: How our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One by Sylvia A. Earle, Fishes of the Open Ocean: A Natural History & Illustrated Guide by Julian Pepperell & Guy Harvey
We hope to post a small upcoming piece on exactly why the Rocky Mountain Land Library has so many books on the marine environment, but for now, here’s just a few books from our shelves — each one can be an enormous help as we all experience the unprecedented disaster in the Gulf:
Voyage of the Turtle by Carl Safina, The Whale by Philip Hoare, The Open Sea, Volume I: The World of Plankton by Alister Hardy (a wonderful work that we’ve treasured since our early days as readers!), The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
And, it’s hard to think of a collection of books on marine life without the words & images of Richard Ellis. He has a entire shelf to himself, and we can definitely recommend these three excellent titles:
Three by Richard Ellis: Singing Whales and Flying Squids: The Discovery of Marine Life, Tuna: A Love Story, Encyclopedia of the Sea
For more on the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, please visit our two earlier posts: