Sea Without a Shore Life in the Sargasso

Available September 10, 2024

By Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by Katherine Roy 
Norton Young Readers
ISBN: 978-1-324-01607-6

A single piece of seaweed buoys a fascinating ecosystem in this lushly illustrated nonfiction picture book .

From bryozoans and snails to shrimps, eels, swordfish, and whales, the Sargasso Sea provides a home to countless types of marine life, thanks to the prevalence of microalgae called sargassum. Following a single blade of this extraordinary seaweed as it grows and spreads, readers see what it provides for the sea’s organisms: a base for hydroids and tube worms to filter and feed, shelter for anemones and nudibranchs and their nutritious waste, hunting grounds for crabs and amphipods, and a source of nourishment and protection for the fish, birds, whales, and reptiles that feed on these smaller creatures.

Through a widening scope on this intricate interdependence, Barb Rosenstock celebrates one of our planet’s most diverse and important ecosystems and the unassuming seaweed that sustains it. Gorgeously illustrated with Katherine Roy’s rich, eye-catching artwork, Sea Without a Shore is as fluid and rhythmic as the currents that shape this tidal home.

A Look Inside the Book

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Resources for Sea Without a Shore

Sea Without a Shore required extensive library and onsite research, only some of which appears in the book. Here is a complete listing of sources used:

Calder, Dale R., Hydroid Assemblages on Holopelagic Sargassum from the Sargasso Sea at Bermuda, Bulletin of Marine Science, 56(2), 537-546. 1995.

Coston-Clements, L., Settle, L.R., Hoss, D.E. & Cross, F.A., Utilization of the Sargassum Habitat by marine Invertebrates and Vertebrates – A Review, NOAA Technical Memorandum MNFS-SEFSC-296, 1991.

Deacon, G.E.R., The Sargasso Sea, The Geographical Journal, 99(1), 1942, 16-18.

Dixon, C.C., The Sargasso Sea, The Geographic Journal, 66 (5), 1925, 434-442.

Earle, Sylvia, The Sargasso Sea-A Living Laboratory for Change, National Geographic, June, 2019 140-141.

Fine, M.L., Faunal variation on pelagic Sargassum, Marine Biology, 7 (1970), 112-122.

Genthe, H., The Sargasso Sea, Smithsonian, (29) 1983, 82-93

Gill JG, Hill-Spanik KM, Whittaker KA, Jones ML, Plante C. 2022. Sargasso Sea bacterioplankton community structure and drivers of variance as revealed by DNA metabarcoding analysis. PeerJ 10:e12835 DOI 10.7717/peerj.12835

Gordon, M., Sargasso Sea Merry-Go-Round, The Scientific Monthly, 53(6), 1941, 542-549.

Hemphill, Arlo H., Conservation on the High Sea –drift algae habitat as an open ocean cornerstone, Parks, 15(3), High Seas Marine Protected Areas, 2005, 48-56

Huffard, C.L., von Thun, S., Sherman, A.D., Sealey, K., Smith, Jr., K.L. Pelagic Sargassum community change over a 40-year period: temporal and spatial variability, Marine Biology (161) 2014, 2735-2751.

Laffoley, D. d’A, Roe, H.S.K., Angel, M.V., et al. The Protection and Management of the Sargasso Sea: Summary Science and Supporting Evidence Case, Bermuda, Sargasso Sea Alliance, 2011.

Lowry, James K., A new species of the amphipod Biancolina from the Sargasso Sea, Transactions of the American Microscopical Society, 93 (1), 71-78.

Martin, L.M., Taylor, M., Huston, G., Goodwin, D.S., Schell, J.M. and Siuda, A.N., 2021. Pelagic Sargassum morphotypes support different rafting motile epifauna communities. Marine Biology168(7), pp.1-17.

Morris, B. F. & Mogelberg, D. D., Identification Manual to the Pelagic Sargassum Fauna, Bermuda Biological Station for Research, Special Publication No. 1, 1973.

Moser, M.L. & Lee, D.S. Foraging over Sargassum by Western North Atlantic Seabirds, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 124(1): 66-72, 2012.

Prosek, James, The Weed that Feeds the North Atlantic, National Geographic, June, 2019, 126-139.

Ryther, J. H., The Sargasso Sea, Scientific American, 194(1), 1956, 98-104.

Smith, Struan R., Hall, M., Beland, S., Sargassum Community Studies near Bermuda, 2015. March 21, 2016,

Teal, J. & Teal, M. The Sargasso Sea, Atlantic/Boston: Little Brown, 1975

Trott, T. M., McKenna, S. A., Pitt, J. M. et al., Efforts to Enhance Protection of the Sargasso Sea. Puerto Rico: Proceedings of the 63rd Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Nov. 1-5, 2010, 282-288.

Witherington, B., Hirama, S., Hardy, R., Young sea turtles of the pelagic Sargassum-dominated drift community: habitat use, population density, and threats, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 463(1): 1-22, 2012.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Sea Education Association (SEA), Ocean Literacy for Remote Ocean Regions, Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Symposium, Author Attended, May 23-24, 2019.

Reviews & Recognition

STARRED REVIEW: Review text here.

— Henrietta Verma, Booklist

Review text here.

—Publishers Weekly