Stan Ulanski


On his book The Gulf Stream: Tiny Plankton, Giant Bluefin, and the Amazing Story of the Powerful River in the Atlantic

Cover Interview of April 06, 2009


Powerful and self-contained, touched on all sides by the unpredictable Atlantic, the Gulf Stream is emblematic of wilderness of this planet.  Henry David Thoreau argued that wilderness allows humans to attain their closes contact with higher truths and beliefs.  If, as a society, we can continue to value wilderness as a retreat and respite from the pressures of the twenty-first century, then how do we protect this watery wilderness?  The answer to this question can be elusive.  Because, at its core, a wilderness is a region of bewildering vastness.  Nonetheless, this is an important question that society must face.

The river in the Atlantic has a tenacious hold on the human spirit and mind, and it has been the subject of many a myth, story, or tale.  But we have reached a critical junction in the long history of the Gulf Stream: the balancing of the exploitation of its resources, due to social progress and economic growth, with the survival of the natural system and its complex web of life.  The Gulf Stream affects and is affected by winds and weather, but also by everything living that it encounters—visitors, sailors, and anglers, as well as flora and wildlife.

Just as centuries ago, the Gulf Stream is important today for the irreplaceable habitat it provides for plant and animal species, and for its key part in changing weather patterns and climate of the North Atlantic region.  But, surprisingly few people are even aware of it—including residents of and visitors to the Atlantic coast.  Hopefully, The Gulf Stream will give readers a greater appreciation of this unique phenomenon.

©2009 Stan Ulanski