Nature Is A Product Of The Earth

1002 Words5 Pages
Coastlines have always been something of interest throughout human history. We have built homes, parks and even cities along them, but at what cost? “Coastlines are not found in nature; they are products of human initiative…” (Gillis 99). This quote said by John R. Gillis brings up a very important discussion. Are coastlines found in nature or have they been built into something we as humans wanted them to be? When the quote is first read, it may be easy to say of course coastlines exist in nature because they are nature. Although, when looking at it deeper one must ask what is the definition of nature. Nature is defined as the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the…show more content…
Without those piles and bulkheads those houses would not be able to be there. Which is an example of changing nature to support the want we have to live on the coast. This was seen also in San Francisco in the mid 1800’s.

The gold rush hit San Francisco in 1849 and in two years the town of 1,000 people turned into a large coastal city of 25,000 people. The land behind the bay was mountains and was not a good fit for expanding the city so they built near the shore. As the city grew throughout the years a need for more land increased. They began to build into the bay and actual changed the outline of the coast entirely. They used the steam paddy to fill in large areas of the San Francisco’s coast. As they began to make land and build on it numerous problems began to be discovered. Besides physically changing the entire shoreline of San Francisco, it created “man-traps” that were uneven fillings of land that would sink when people stepped on them, it also created seismic hazards, which was seen by the 1906 Earthquake, and fire hazards, which was also seen by the Great Fire of 1851 (Dyl Lecture). This is a perfect example of a coast being a product of human initiative. As the need for land increased along the coast we as people had no problem changing the coast. J.D. Stillman was quoted in the Overland Monthly in 1868 saying “Men, in their
Get Access