2020 water stories

Still on the Bay-Delta water beat. In late 2020 I wrote about a highway and a town menaced by sea level rise; interviewed leading Bay scientist Julie Beagle for the  new podcast series Science-in-Short; and reported on the iffy condition of the “research fleet,” the multi-agency armada of about 100 specially equipped boats that brings [...]

Bay and Delta bulletins

Big water stuff going on as the authorities struggle to set river flows adequate for fish, try to get their minds around sea level rise, and brace for wetter floods and dryer droughts as climate change kicks in. For Estuary News I reported the Resilient by Design showcase of solutions for cities menaced by rising [...]

Rising waters

The oceans are rising, and so is San Francisco Bay. Planners and architects from around the world recently converged on the region to offer solutions for nine swathes of shoreline threatened with inundation. The world is going through many important environmental, economical and political changes. Check out some more breathtaking images of the world that will [...]

Mount Tamalpais

In June, 2017, Bay Nature magazine devoted a special section to the beloved peak just north of the Golden Gate, its history, its creatures, and its problems, from trail maintenance to global warming.  What’s new is the way that the local landlords–three park agencies and a water district–have learned to pull together for the good [...]

Commonwealth Club podcast

Here’s a clip from my July 19 appearance with Jordan Fisher-Smith at the Commonwealth Club of California. As part of the Club’s ClimateOne series,  we kicked around what it can mean to “preserve nature” in our warming, human-dominated world. Yellowstone National Park  (see Jordan’s new book Engineering Eden) is a case in point; Point Reyes [...]

Last winter Estuary News offered “a gnarly assignment”: to write a sort of guidebook to the labyrinth of plans and agencies devoted to the health of San Francisco Bay and its inseparable  twin, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.  Two Hearts Beating Not Quite as One appears in the June issue. Fifty years after the first [...]

I’ll be talking on parks, farms, and climate change with fellow author Jordan Fisher-Smith at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco on Tuesday, July 19, 6:30. Jordan’s new book, Engineering Eden, centers on the tricky and sometimes tragic course of bear management at Yellowstone; analogous struggles at Point Reyes pervade my recent title An Island [...]

On July 10, 2015, President Obama proclaimed a National Monument along a hundred miles of  rugged Coast Range ridges west of Sacramento, California.Two weeks later, much of the new monument was engulfed in the flames of the Wragg and Rocky Fires. I wrote about this captivating landscape before the designation and the fires (High Country [...]

Filling Up On Empty

El Niño may be on the way, but California’s water problems aren’t abating any time soon. In the June issue of Estuary News, I look past the present drought to ask how much water California can store underground for the even worse conditions climatologists warn us we can expect. Estuary News is the respected quarterly [...]

https://vimeo.com/47527324 In August, National Parks Month, PBS stations nationwide will be showing  Rebels with a Cause, the story of how the coast just north of San Francisco was wrested from looming development to become the open space oasis it is today.  Narrated by Frances McDormand, the much-honored documentary centers on the people–the Rebels–who stepped forward [...]