Coastal Disasters Affect All Our Resources

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The current issue of Coastal Heritage presents several articles on the impacts of disasters on the waters around South Carolina. However, these are not your usual summaries of the effects on coastal waters and wildlife in and out of those waters, which is what we would expect from the Sea Grant Consortium, which supports research, education, and outreach to conserve coastal resources . Rather, the articles are the accounts of individuals enduring and slowly recovering from those disasters. Coastal disasters can claim homes, parents, security and can leave behind debt, homelessness, and unemployment. And the scars and memories can remain, particularly in those who were young when the event occurred.


The articles in this issue address the psychological impact of disasters to the people in coastal communities, the ones with close ties to our coastal resources. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is common and the articles explain symptoms and treatments. Some articles, such as "Veterans sailing and building friendships," focus on groups that reach out to individuals to help them direct their time and minds to less stressful, but productive activities. Foremost in these groups are churches, that have often been the first to provide aid, both physically and emotionally.

The magazine includes a list of resources for more information on PTSD and outreach groups. Photos accompany each article, but the issue is in sepia, which emphasizes the soberness of the topic and reminds us that our residents are our most valuable resource. Coastal Heritage is available in the State Library and on the web at http://www.scseagrant.org/Content/?cid=551.

For more information, contact Elaine Sandberg at 803-734-8625 or esandberg@statelibrary.sc.gov.