Introduction (Alt + 1)
Our Coastal National Parks (Alt + 2)
Coastal Processes (Alt + 3)
Coastal Materials (Alt + 4)
Coastal Environments (Alt + 5)
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Olympic National Park Cabrillo National Monument Virgin Islands National Park Olympic National Park Virgin Islands National Park Cape Hatteras National Seashore Cabrillo National Monument Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Help and Information Center (Alt + H)
Coastal Geology Main Index (Alt + I)
Views Visitor Center (Alt + V)
Glossary (Alt + G)
Text-only version (Alt + T)
Teacher Resource Center for Coastal Geology (Alt + R)
Introduction to Coastal Geology

When it's time for a vacation, many of us flock to beaches to lounge, gather seashells, and play in the waves. Some people look for solitude, trying to escape crowds, while others seek the best surf, bluest water, or whitest sands. Many of our favorite beaches are part of the National Park System.

The diversity of sites in the National Park System is reflected in the variety of titles given to them. The National Park System incorporates 97 coastal areas - including national parks, national lakeshores, national seashores, national monuments, and national recreation areas. The National Park Service (NPS) manages these areas, which encompass more than 7,300 miles (11,746 km) of shoreline, and the diverse resources preserved within them: sea cliffs and

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