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Atlantic Ocean

Author elsslots
#1 | Posted: 9 Dec 2008 14:43 
The following sites I didn't add to the Atlantic Ocean connection, because of the reasons below:
- San Cristobal (on Canaries) isn't near the coast of the Ocean, and I cannot really find a link to the Ocean in its description/evaluation as a WHS
- Orkney: shares more features with mainland Scotland close by than with Atlantic Ocean

If you have arguments to suggest otherwise, please tell me!

Author Solivagant
#2 | Posted: 12 Dec 2008 06:00 | Edited by: Solivagant 
We had a discussion back in July about the problems of defining "Oceans" for Connection purposes.

These seem to be twofold
a. What is the extent of an "Ocean" -in particular how should "arms" of an Ocean be handled - seas, gulfs, estuaries etc
b. How "close" to an Ocean does a site need to be in order to be "Connected" to it -and should it be just a matter of geographic "closeness"?

On the first I thought we had concluded that we would use the "smaller" units for connection purposes ie "Seas" etc where these were available - "Ocean" would primarily mean "Open Ocean". When I go to the coast near where I live I am looking at the "North Sea" not the "Atlantic" - oceanographers may legitimately regard it as part of the Atlantic Ocean in macro-ecosystem terms (movement of waters etc) but this has no great resonance in cultural terms.

We left the second issue at a rather unsatisfactory "Within 10kms" but no one disagreed that any bay or estuary should be regarded as part of the 10kms.

I have always found the Oceans connection a bit unsatisfactory as they are enormous areas geographically and the connection has to encompass a mixture of varied cultural and ecological dimensions. They are perhaps the most diffuse of our Connections and therefore possibly the least "useful"!

However, looking at the current list for Atlantic in the above terms I would comment/suggest
a. Brimstone Hill Fortress - Is on the Caribbean coast of St Kitts and should be connected there
b. Ilullisat Icefjord - Is situated well up a fjord on the Western (ie Canadian facing) coast of Greenland off Disco Bay off the Davis Strait beyond the Labrador Sea from the Atlantic! Was recently discussed at the Arctic Ocean Conference. The Wiki map for the Atlantic seems to place it in the "Arctic" but the CIA seems to consider the Davis Strait part of the Atlantic. In "common sense" terms it doesn't seem to be "oceanic" at all.
c. Teide - The inscribed area is limited to the highest parts of the mountain - and i think that virtually all parts are more than 10kms from the Ocean. San Cristobal on the Canaries has been excluded on that basis. However I wonder whether this should be an example where "common sense" should be used in the other direction. It is totally surrounded by the Atlantic and is regarded as the highest point of that Ocean. Culturally it was a significant point on the transatlantic voyage.
d. Neolithic Orkney - Given the small size of the Orkneys, all of the sites are reasonably close to the sea, though only one, Skara Brae, is adjacent (though it used to be further away) and faces West to the Atlantic. The others face Loughs and are around the 10km boundary limit (though probably just inside?). The cultural connections were presumably to the south to the mainland and to the east across the North Sea. It doesn't seem to have an "Atlantic" dimension in any normal sense of the word
e. Banc d'Arguin - this is part of the East Atlantic migratory flyway and faces the Atlantic. It was also part of the Atlantic trade route down the African coast (see Owned by Dutch). If the connection does have a meaning it should be included?
f. Robben Island is undoubtedly in the Atlantic Ocean being on the Western side of the Cape peninsular and not significantly "into" Table Bay. E.g quote from Geology of Robben Island " ..... large cobbles of Malmesbury greywacke characterise most of the shoreline of Robben Island, being exposed to the south-westerly swells of the Atlantic Ocean"
g. Cape Floral Region - actually includes Cape Point and therefore should be included? However note that, contrary to common belief, it is NOT the dividing line between the Atlantic AND Indian Ocean which is further east (and south) at Cape Aguilas!
h.The Island of Saint Louis is situated in the Senegal River but is well within 10kms of the Atlantic "as the crow flies" across a bridge to a protecting peninsular (part of the modern city faces the Atlantic but none of the inscribed site). However the sea route to the Atlantic down the river is longer than 10kms and the essence of Saint Louis's situation seems estuarine. On the other hand..... it was a part of the Atlantic trading system. We haven't even identified it as a "Port".
i. Peninsula Valdes - parts of it face the Golfos Nuevo and San Jose but the whole sticks well out into the South Atlantic.
j. Atlantic Forests South East Reserves - sounds pretty "Atlantic" to me! Some of the sites extend to the ocean itself. The argument used for the Macaronesian Laurisilva must apply here too??
k. Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves - similar arguments to the above? Except that, as far as I can see none of the inscribed areas actually borders the coast?? But then neither does Garajonay nor, as above, Teide.
l. L'Anse aux Meadows - site of the first Atlantic crossings from Europe - situated on N coast of Newfoundland, into a shallow bay (Épaves Bay) and sheltered by an island but probably within 10kms of the open ocean (Unlike Gros Morne which is further south west on the same peninsular and very much "Gulf of St Lawrence" rather than "Atlantic").

Author Solivagant
#3 | Posted: 14 Dec 2008 02:40 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Oh and ....

Skellig Michael - well out into the Atlantic off the far west of Ireland
Forts of Greater Accra - many literally "on the Atlantic Beach" but this part of the coast though pretty "open" is strictly on the Bight of Benin --but hardly an "enclosed arm"
Mogador and Mazagan - Pretty well directly facing the Atlantic apart from some rocky protection. If Valparaiso is a Pacific city then surely these are Atlantic ones?
Bahia and Olinda - in neither case have the Port areas been inscribed but both are within 10kms of the sea and culturally are "Atlantic" towns?

Less strong but still "facing the Atlantic"!
Sao Luis - in a bay
Statue of Liberty - culturally very strongly linked ot the Atlantic but strictly within the Hudson River and more thna 10kms from the ocean

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 Atlantic Ocean

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