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Coastal cultures featured in ECU professor's book

GREENVILLE, NC   (Jan. 28, 1999)   —   "The Estuary's Gift: An Atlantic Coast Cultural Biography," is the title of a new book by Dr. David Griffith, an ECU scientist and anthropology professor.
Published in December by Penn State University Press, the 196 page volume looks at the coastal region's watermen and commercial fishers who inhabit or who once lived along the Chesapeake Bay and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds of North Carolina. The publisher describes it as a "cultural portrait of the mid-Atlantic coastal ecosystem.
Included is Griffith's research about the earliest cultures, the native Americans and the settlers from Europe, who hunted whales and netted herring. Griffith carries his story to present-day commercial fishing families whose livelihoods depend on the complex estuarine systems of the coast.
In the process, he chronicles the series of developments including the business and economic changes that have forced fishing families into other pursuits and have reconfigured the countryside to support single crop agriculture, industrial chicken production, hog farming, forestry and mining.
The book sells for $18.95.
In addition to teaching, Griffith is a senior research scientist for the ECU Institute for Coastal and Marine Resources.