Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

The Poetry of a Salt Marsh

For Immediate Release
June 26, 2006

Sippewissett
Or, Life on a Salt Marsh

By Tim Traver

Contact: Jessica Saturley, (802) 295-6300, ext. 106

Tim Traver’s remarkable book Sippewissett: Or, Life on a Salt Marsh (October 2006) melds together the poetry of our best travel writing with moving memoir and the hard science that has been the author’s obsession since his New England childhood on the shores of Cape Cod. In Sippewissett we find an odd but seductive item: the biography of a salt marsh. Traver expertly interweaves science, history, and memoir creating a rich story grounded in the ebb and flow of the tides, the hatches, the spawning runs, and the challenges of a threatened ecology.Akin to classics like Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac and Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Sippewissett eloquently binds ecology and memory, science and art and thus transforms a simple salt marsh into a single living, sentient organism whose past, present and future flow together in the shifting waters and building layers of mud and silt. Traver’s engaging style puts you in the water with the eelgrass, the reader feels the cool mud on a clam hunt.

Travers’s connection to Sippewissett runs deep. His children are the fourth generation to spend summers on this strip of Cape Cod marsh. He introduces us to the people—living and long passed—who shape the marsh and call it home. There is the Oyster Lady who chases an oyster-poaching young Traver off her property, the captain of the Possessor who took his own life as the striped sea bass populations dwindled, the real estate agent who wants to make marsh roads private, and the scientist studying nitrate levels in the mud. Their stories, along with Traver’s own family history, give Sippewissett richness beyond traditional nature writing.

Readers will delight as the story alternates between remembrances of the salt marsh and the history of Sippewissett, a place that has been studied by America’s great biologists, from Louis Agassiz to Rachel Carson. Traver delves into the natural history and science of the place while keeping an eye on the present reality of life on the salt marsh—the struggle between conservation and the ecological fallout from industrial progress.
Tim Traver holds a master’s degree in environmental science from Yale University. He is a freelance travel and science writer and has had a column in the Providence Journal and Falmouth Enterprise. He works on issues of land use, wildlife management, open space protection, and environmental education and is past executive director of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and the Upper Valley Land Trust and past director of the Norman Bird Sanctuary. Traver lives in Taftsville, Vermont, with his wife and three children.

Available October 2006 | Hardcover | $22.50 | 1-933392-14-2 | 5 5/8 x 8 5/8, 264 pages
For more information, please visit www.chelseagreen.com/2006/items/sippewissett.


What’s a Carbon Sink?

World leaders met in Marrakech this month as part of COP22, to discuss the next steps to reducing global climate emissions. One of the solutions being discussed is carbon farming. Author Eric Toensmeier participated in COP22, in part, because he literally wrote a book on it. First off – what is carbon farming? It’s a […] Read More

The Seven-Point Protocol for a Lean Economy

In the future, what will our local economies look like? How will they function if there is little, to no, state or national support? The late David Fleming envisioned a post-capitalistic society that we could call “deep local” — in which all needs are met at the local level — from income to social capital […] Read More

Happy Holidays from Chelsea Green Publishing!

Today we kick off our Holiday Sale — with 35% off every purchase at our online bookstore. Simply use the code CGS16 at checkout from now until the end of the year. Along with this great discount, we are offering free shipping on any order over $100*. Are there homesteaders or organic gardeners on your […] Read More

Sex, Violence, and Figs

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are the fig trees. Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles in the dawn of civilization. They feature in every major religion, starring alongside Adam and Eve, Krishna and Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. This is no coincidence – fig […] Read More

10 Fascinating Fig Facts

“As our planet’s climate changes and reminds us that nature really does matter, the story [of fig trees] has important lessons for us all.” –Mike Shanahan In short, fig trees are awesome. They have been around for 80 million years and during that time they have shaped our world and impacted humanity in profound but […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com