Fragile Shores: The Past and Future of Florida's Coasts

Evan Bennett

Course Description

Explore the Florida coast's history and Floridians' relationships with the sea over the past 2,000 years or so (when the modern shoreline came into being). This program is organized around four of Florida's coasts to consider the current problems confronting coastal communities in light of history. While all of Florida's coasts face similar problems, each lecture will use one coastal space to explore the impact of an issue in detail. Each discussion, enhanced through images and video, will begin with a description of the modern problem and then move back in time to contextualize it. Attendees will gain a strong understanding of the problems with Florida's coasts while gaining an appreciation of how these coasts have changed over time.


  1. The First Coast: Development and the Northern Atlantic Coast
  2. The Emerald Coast: Saving History Along the Northern Gulf
  3. The Sun Coast: The Problem of Pollution on the Southern Gulf
  4. The Gold Coast: Sea Level Rise and South Florida

About the Instructor

  • Evan P. Bennett, Ph.D. is a historian of the American South whose research focuses on the intersections of rural, environmental, and labor history. He has just completed writing a book on the environmental history of Tampa Bay. He is the author of “When Tobacco Was King: Families, Farm Labor, and Federal Policy in the Piedmont,” (University Press of Florida, 2014). He is also co-editor of “Beyond Forty Acres and a Mule: African American Landowning Families Since Reconstruction,” (University Press of Florida, 2012). Photo Credit: Dawn Yap at Yap Originals

Upcoming programs presented by Evan Bennett.

TypeNumberInstructorCourse TitleAdd to Cart
4wk FS242 Evan Bennett Fragile Shores: The Past and Future of Florida's Coasts
Tuesdays, November 1, 8, 15, 22: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm