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This complete primer on San Francisco Bay is a multifaceted exploration of an extraordinary, and remarkably resilient, body of water. Bustling with oil tankers, laced with pollutants, and crowded with forty-six cities, the bay is still home to healthy eelgrass beds, young Dungeness crabs and sharks, and millions of waterbirds. Written in an entertaining style for a wide audience, Natural History of San Francisco Bay delves into an array of topics including fish and wildlife, ocean and climate cycles, endangered and invasive species, and the path from industrialization to environmental restoration. More than sixty scientists, activists, and resource managers share their views and describe their work—tracing mercury through the aquatic ecosystem, finding ways to convert salt ponds back to tidal wetlands, anticipating the repercussions of climate change, and more. Fully illustrated and packed with stories, quotes, and facts, the guide also tells how San Francisco Bay sparked an environmental movement that now reaches across the country.
Ariel Rubissow Okamoto is the author of books and articles about San Francisco Bay, California water history, and national parks. Her articles have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Bay Nature, and other publications.
Kathleen M. Wong is the science writer for the UC Natural Reserve System. Her articles have appeared in Bay Nature, California Wild, and Nature, and elsewhere.
“After experiencing, researching, and writing about San Francisco Bay over a period of 50 years, I was certain that I knew all there was to know about it. I was wrong. Rubissow Okamoto and Wong have enabled me to see it in a new dimension—call it 3D or maybe even 4D.” —Harold Gilliam, author of San Francisco Bay
“This is an eminently readable account of the natural and human history of San Francisco Bay.” —Rainer Hoenicke, Director, San Francisco Estuary Institute
Harold Gilliam Award for Excellence in Envirornmental Reporting, Bay Institute