Work continues on my Marin County Environmental History and overlapping projects. On November 8, the History’s website went live. On the 11th, I helped Gerry Warburg launch Saving Point Reyes, his inside history of the 1969 campaign to rescue the half-finished National Seashore from the budget chopping block (and much more). On November 15, I [...]

Salt, mud, and marshes

Sometimes the news is good. This soggy winter and spring I tramped the margins of southern San Francisco Bay to witness an unfolding environmental triumph: the conversion of 15,000 acres of former salt ponds into tidal marshes and other habitats vital to birds and an entire ecosystem.  The regenerated shoreline fringe will also help buffer [...]

It’s out: the latest state plan for moving Sacramento River water south to California’s biggest cities and farms. Also just out and almost as long in the making: my history of such ideas and efforts, which now go back a century. I hope my work for the California Water Library will help readers of all [...]

A project two years in the making gets off the ground this month: a comprehensive environmental history of Marin County, California, a landscape and habitat of national value, the scene of thorny debates past and present, and my home turf. I’ve been writing pieces of this story since 1970; now I want to tell the [...]

In Sausalito, 6 PM, I’m joining an IN PERSON panel, with Marin City activist Terrie Harris Green, Dalia Adofo of Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates, and Sausalito Mayor Janelle Kellman, to explore the overdue melding of social justice and environmental concerns. I’ll be the old white guy. It’s at 750 Bridgeway (old B of A) [...]

Wading Knee Deep

The Knee Deep Times is a lively new newspaper—free and online—about people facing off against sea level rise and other menaces of climate change. The excellent Ariel R. Okamoto, also of Estuary News, edits. In the fall I joined Ariel in reporting on sessions of the 2021 Climate Adaptation Forum, a grand caucus of experts [...]

The Golden Gate Oil Spill

Oil spills, large and small, blot the history of San Francisco Bay, but for old-timers there is just one Great Oil Spill: the disaster of January 18, 1971. Two small Standard Oil tankers locked hulls in the foggy Golden Gate,  releasing over a million gallons of heavy fuel mixture to foul shores from Ocean Beach to [...]

Hart poetry blog

John Hart, caricature by Geoff Bernstein I’ve begun blogging about poetry at Why? As a poet, editor, and teacher, raised in the craft by my father Lawrence Hart and his “Activist” colleagues, I have some things to say that I hope will be of interest. Not always nice things: for I think the current [...]

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 [...]

Viruses come and go (soon, we hope), but the tug-of-war over California water is always with us. In a piece for Bay Nature, I trace the latest twists as Governor Newsom seeks compromise and President Trump seeks, well, nothing but maximum water for the San Joaquin Valley. The hope of a negotiated truce seems to [...]