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5. The Case of Edgar and Ways of Thought in Slavery Times

Margaret Lewis Furse Texas A&M University Press ePub

Chapter 5


Although Spain and Mexico had opposed slavery, when Stephen F. Austin was colonizing Texas and about twenty-five years later when the Hawkins family came in 1846, the state was seeking settlers who could farm profitably and contribute to a productive, stable citizenry. Successful planters were those who came with their own labor supply—their slaves. Texas had a surplus of land but a scarcity of labor. Thus families from the South who came with a slave labor force were welcome, and the slave-holding families found the cheap land in Texas a boon. Growing crops was profitable provided there were enough laborers to farm on a larger than subsistence scale. One contemporary observer notes that “very few even poor men consent to be hired, preferring to work their own lands,” a disposition that reduced the number of acres worked and made them less profitable than a more extensive slave-worked plantation. For this reason, almost no one at the time could think of a profitable way to cultivate a large plantation except by slave labor.1

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3. Ecosystem-Based Management of the Apalachicola River–Apalachicola Bay System, Florida

John W Day Texas A&M University Press ePub

Robert J. Livingston

Temperate, river-dominated estuaries are among the most productive and economically valuable aquatic resources in the world. However, alluvial systems have been seriously damaged by various human activities. Estuarine primary production, based on loading of nutrients and organic compounds from associated rivers, is one of the most important processes in river-dominated estuaries (Howarth 1988; Baird and Ulanowicz 1989; Livingston et al. 2000). Nutrient input from river sources has been closely associated with autochthonous phytoplankton production. River-driven allochthonous particulate organic matter maintains detritivorous food webs in estuaries (Livingston 1983, 1984, 1985a). However, the relative importance of various sources of both inorganic nutrients and organic carbon (dissolved and particulate) can vary from estuary to estuary (Peterson and Howarth 1987). These differences can be related to the specific tidal and hydrological attributes of a given system (Odum et al. 1979). Human sources of such compounds often have the exact opposite effect leading to hypereutrophication, plankton blooms, deterioration of the estuarine food webs, and loss of secondary production (Livingston 2000, 2002, 2005).

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Buster, Noreen A. Texas A&M University Press ePub

Impacts of Fluid and Gas Expulsion

Harry H. Roberts

Our understanding of the geology of the northern and northwestern Gulf of Mexico continental slope has taken a quantum leap forward since Fishery Bulletin volume 89 (Bulletin 89) was published in 1954. Single-trace echo-sounder profiling, single-point soundings, and data from coring, trawls, and grab samples formed the database from which most interpretations of continental slope geology were made. Less than a decade after World War II, seismic data were starting to be routinely acquired from marine settings, and attention was focused on the Gulf of Mexico because it was a proven hydrocarbon-producing province. Salvador (1991) indicated that the first offshore seismic-reflection survey was in 1944. Since then, the petroleum industry, government (U.S. Geological Survey), and academic groups (particularly the Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas) have acquired seismic-reflection data from throughout the Gulf. These surveys have been instrumental in establishing the geologic framework for the Gulf basin since little direct geological data were available for most of the deep Gulf. It was not until the 1960s to 1970s that adequate seismic-reflection and refraction data became available to define the geology of the deep Gulf as a thick sedimentary unit overlying an acoustic basement consisting of oceanic crust or transitional crust (Buffler 1991).

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Appendix 20.1. Institutional and governance framework for selected coastal ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico

John W Day Texas A&M University Press ePub

Ecological Pulsing, the Basis for Sustainable Management

Alejandro Yáñez-Arancibia and John W. Day

The Gulf of Mexico is a shared resource among Mexico, Cuba, and the United States and is at severe risk because of the following major problems: (1) freshwater use and shortage, (2) pollution, (3) habitat modifications and wetlands loss, (4) unsustainable development of living resources, (5) global climate change, (6) poor public education, and (7) weak political interest in the environmental quality of the area. Now scientific and technological information is changing the perception of policymakers from the initial focus of integrated coastal management that prevailed during the last 30 years. That focus was on economic development of the coastal zone but with both ecological and social uncertainty. In the 21st century, the main goal is to maintain the coastal zone in healthy, productive, and resilient condition so that it can provide the services to satisfy human needs in a sustainable manner. But, this will be possible only by preserving the functional structure of coastal ecosystems.

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1. Coastal Processes

Richard A. Davis Texas A&M University Press ePub

Coastal Processes

WHEN we hear the word beach, the first thing that comes to mind is sand; the next is probably waves. Actually there are multiple processes that impact beaches and control their existence and appearance (figure 1.1). It is appropriate to begin with the most fundamental of these coastal processes: the weather. Then it is important to consider how the waves, which are a result of the weather, impact the beach. These waves also generate currents that are a major element of beach dynamics. Storms, especially hurricanes, are a significant factor in Gulf of Mexico beaches. A process that is always present but is not weather related is the ebb and flow of tides, but tides do not play a major role in Gulf Coast beaches.


The Gulf Coast is positioned in the latitudes that range from about 18° to 30° north of the equator. This range of latitudes experiences a fairly wide variation in weather patterns. As the seasons change, so do the weather patterns. During the summer the Gulf is within the Trade Winds belt, with the prevailing direction from the southeast. This is the time when tropical storms can impact this coast. In the winter the westerlies prevail as weather systems are moving from the northwest to the southeast. The changes from one pattern to another influence the way beaches respond to the wind and the waves produced by it.

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