December 17, 2017


TABLE OF CONTENTS     January, 2013 | Vol. 18, No. 1



New Directions in Marine Environmental History: An Introduction by Michael Chiarappa and Matthew McKenzie

Dockside Landings and Threshold Spaces: Reckoning Architecture’s Place in Marine Environmental History by Michael J. Chiarappa

Local Economic Stewards: The Historiography of the Fishermen’s Role in Resource Conservation by Brian Payne

Pearls and the Southern Persian/Arabian Gulf: A Lesson in Sustainability by Victoria Penziner Hightower

Knowing the Black Box: Methodological Challenges in Marine Environmental History by Joseph E. Taylor III

Recreation and the “Right to Fish” Movement: Anglers and Ecological Degradation in the Florida Keys by Loren McClenachan

Mediating the North Atlantic Environment: Fisheries Biologists, Technology, and Marine Spaces by Jennifer Hubbard

The Sea Around Norway: Science, Resource Management, and Environmental Concerns, 1860–1970 by Vera Schwach

How Scientific Does Marine Environmental History Need to Be? by Christine Keiner

HMAP Response to the Marine Forum by Poul Holm, Marta Coll, Alison MacDiarmid, Henn Ojaveer, and Bo Poulsen


The Lowcountry Landscape: Politics, Preservation, and the Santee-Cooper Project by T. Robert Hart

Working-Class Conservationism in New York: Governor Alfred E. Smith and “The Property of the People of the State” by Robert Chiles


Designing Conservation at The Sea Ranch by Sara Fingal

Blending and Contrasting the Artificial and the Natural: Russel Wright’s Manitoga by D. J. Huppatz




Issue 18.1 – January 2013

In recent years, numerous popular and scientific books have called attention to the perilous state of oceans. Overfishing, acidification from climate change, degradation of coral reefs, collapse of the cod, radiation releases from nuclear disasters—the list of marine crises could continue for pages. Several years ago in Environmental History, Jeffrey Bolster called for environmental historians to pay closer attention to human interactions with marine ecosystems.1 Yet it’s not always easy for historians to participate in scholarly and policy debates over marine management. Scientists, policymakers, and historians speak different languages and control different financial resources, which makes collaboration challenging. When a scientist wins a grant and invites a historian to participate in a research project, what the scientist needs from that historian often differs from what the historian wants to contribute. Historians excel at problematizing scientific approaches to knowledge building, but “Well …it’s complicated” is rarely a useful answer when a policymaker asks a question. Nevertheless, it is critical for historians to participate—and participate usefully—in interdisciplinary marine research. Without a sense of history, how can we hope to understand, much less restore, marine ecosystems?

This issue of Environmental History features a forum on marine environmental history  organized by Michael Chiarappa and Matthew McKenzie, with brief contributions from environmental historians, historians of science, architectural historians, and marine ecologists. I hope you agree with me that they have gathered together a lively and provocative group of scholars to discuss challenges and new directions in marine environmental history. Because several of the pieces discuss, often critically, the History of Marine Animal Populations (HMAP) project that brings together historians and ecologists, I have asked several scholars from HMAP to contribute a brief response to the forum.

Two additional essays explore fascinating American case studies. Thomas Hart’s article, “The Lowcountry Landscape: Politics, Preservation, and the Santee-Cooper Project,” analyzes the cultural, political, and ecological impact of the Santee-Cooper project, the largest New Deal project in South Carolina. Robert Chiles focuses on New York politics in the 1920s, arguing that Gov. Alfred E. Smith crafted a working-class conservation that called for what the author describes as a “redistribution of environmental wealth.”

— Nancy Langston

1 W. Jeffrey Bolster, “Opportunities in Marine Environmental History,” Environmental History 11 (July 2006): 567–97.