I’ve canoed beneath freeway overpasses in Seattle’s Union Bay, but I somehow never undertook anything like this: San Antonio Express-News reporter Colin McDonald is kayaking the length of the Texas Gulf Coast, some 370 miles of alternating natural shoreline and industrialized landscape. He’s blogging about the journey at Uncharted Coast, so named because the constantly shifting line between land and water has frustrated map-makers for centuries.

Having so far avoided the barges and tanker ships that ply the coastal shipping lanes, McDonald documents the unholy mix of wildlife diversity and intensive industrial use. He encounters a lot of remaining damage from Hurricane Ike and chats up locals who regale him with tales of pirates (of the insurance company variety, but still).

Grist relies on the support of generous readers like you. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

It’s a nice bit of explanatory journalism that shows just how little separates resort-lined beaches from toxic sites like the McGinnes storage pits. McDonald also wrote an overview of the trip for the Express-News.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.