More than 60 percent of the world’s population lives in a coastal environment. Events like Superstorm Sandy remind us of the tremendous danger of living near water. Yet something about the coast, the lake, the riverbank draws us in.
Certainly there are economic and defensive advantages that come with ports and easy access to waterways. But is there more?
Mathew White, a researcher at the University of Exeter in England, seems to think so. He and his colleagues have found that exposure to coastal environments over time can not only help reduce stress and improve health — but also strengthen social bonds.