Travel and environmental writer Tidwell knew nothing of the disappearing bayou country when he first visited the Cajun coast of Louisiana, but the evidence was all around him: skeletons of oak trees killed by groundwater salinity, whole cemeteries sinking into swampland, telephone poles in deep, standing water. Thanks to human hands, the storied Louisiana coast was eroding and subsiding into the Gulf of Mexico--the fastest disappearing landmass on Earth. Tidwell introduces us to the surprisingly varied population of the area: the Cajuns who work the seasonal shrimp harvest, the Vietnamese fishermen, the Houma Indians driven to the farthest ends of the bayou by the first European settlers. He describes the food, the music, the culture, and the life of those who live along the bayous. Under his observant eye, the bayou itself becomes a compelling character--reminding us of how much we stand to lose if we fail to address the problems facing this most vibrant of places.--From publisher description.