Ribbon of Sand

The Amazing Convergence of the Ocean and the Outer Banks

By John Alexander, James Lazell

With a new preface by the authors

Ribbon of Sand

256 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 5 illus., 1 maps, 17 figs., , bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4874-6
    Published: May 2000

Chapel Hill Books

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"Alexander and Lazell's delightful study of North Carolina's Outer Banks contains a wealth of statistics and facts . . . A Ribbon of Sand--written in romantic prose--is more like a novel. . . . Small and lightweight with chapters of less than 20 pages, this is the perfect book to take on a trip to the North Carolina coast. Interesting and informative, you'll look at a grain of sand or a wave with a whole new perspective."--TasteFull

Ribbon of Sand is a rich and beautifully written exploration of the unique natural history and romantic past of the Outer Banks, the fragile barrier islands that stretch for almost two hundred miles down the North Carolina coast. A new preface discusses recent developments on the Banks, including the discovery and excavation of a wreck believed to be Blackbeard's ship and the continuing threat of offshore oil drilling, and throughout the book the authors reveal the controversies, natural wonders, and fascinating legends that make the Outer Banks one of the nation's most beloved treasures.

About the Authors

John Alexander has worked as a journalist and is now president of the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina.
For more information about John Alexander, visit the Author Page.

James Lazell is president of The Conservation Agency and lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island.
For more information about James Lazell, visit the Author Page.


"Leaves the reader with a clear sense of place and an understanding of the forces of wind and water."--Publishers Weekly

"This is a guidebook to be taken along when exploring this fragile place that deserves to be preserved."--Booklist

"A fascinating look at the Outer Banks. . . . [The authors] appreciate the vital importance of the Outer Banks as a unique, living, changing ecosystem. By the end of Ribbon of Sand, so do we."--Islands

"[A] chronicle of the inextricable connections between the natural history and human history of this ecosystem. . . . This book provides gentle yet informative reading to round out a portrait of the Outer Banks."--Audubon Naturalist News

"Whether describing Nature's part in Blackbeard's dramatic last battle or explaining the environmental issues of today's coast, this fine book paints a distinct portrait of a delicate ecosystem and how humans have forever affected it."--In Southern Words

"A beautifully drawn picture of 'the resiliency and self-correcting mechanism of the natural order' at work on the Outer Banks."--Outer Banks Magazine