About

Marin County freelancer John Hart is the author of many articles and several books on environmental issues in the Bay Area, including Farming on the Edge (UC Press, 1992), San Francisco Bay: Portrait of an Estuary (UC Press, 2003) with photos by David Sanger, and the forthcoming Legacy: Portraits of 50 Bay Area Environmental Elders (UC Press, 2006) with photos by Nancy Kittle.

Contributions

Map Sense: From Topos to Tablets at the East Bay Regional Parks

January 13, 2014 by John Hart

Every map tells a story — about the world, and about the person who made it.

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Planned Wilderness

October 06, 2011 by John Hart

In eastern Contra Costa and Alameda counties, an ambitious vision for protecting big pieces of remaining open space is taking shape: From Black Diamond Mines and Mount Diablo to Brushy Peak and Sunol, several major agreements promise to replace ad hoc mitigation projects with a broader canvas of protected and connected habitat.

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Suburban Slough

January 01, 2011 by John Hart

There is a godwho sits upon the sea’s blue monumentand breathes into the tide.He sits far off, and yet his

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Paradise Cut

April 01, 2010 by John Hart

Superhighways stay out of the Delta, mostly. But if you have ever driven on Interstate 5 south of Stockton, you have just grazed one of the southernmost Delta islands, Stewart Tract. Filling the angle between the San Joaquin River and Paradise Cut, one of that river’s lesser branches, it is also at the intersection of two specifically South Delta concerns: urbanization and flood control.

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Sherman Island

April 01, 2010 by John Hart

The Delta’s westernmost island, which shields major water-export pumps from incoming saltwater, is a testing ground for several efforts to prepare this fragile region for the threats of sea level rise and levee degradation.

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Liberty Island

April 01, 2010 by John Hart

This flooded island has become a surprising refuge for endangered Delta smelt, which have ended up living here full time, much to the surprise of biologists. But an invading exotic plant threatens that success, unless land managers can make some changes to tilt the game back in the smelt’s favor.

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The Once and Future Delta

April 01, 2010 by John Hart

About the only thing people agree on about the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta–the subject of countless white papers, editorials, and political debates–is that it’s in a heap of trouble. But this 1,000-square-mile patchwork of islands, sloughs, wetlands, and farmlands is also a rich and complex–if highly altered–ecosystem at the core of the San Francisco Estuary. Here we take a look behind today’s news to understand what the Delta once was, how it has been changed, and what it might become . . . with a lot of help from its friends.

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Worth the Wait

January 01, 2010 by John Hart

Fenced off in plain sight for decades, the Concord Naval Weapons Station is the largest piece of undeveloped, unprotected land in Contra Costa County. Now, after years of debate and planning, a large portion of the former base is poised to become a major new regional park, as well as a critical open space link and wildlife corridor stretching from the summit of Mount Diablo to the shores of Suisun Bay.

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Muir Woods Anniversary

April 01, 2008 by John Hart

Though named for legendary conservationist John Muir, Muir Woods National Monument is really the legacy of William Kent, a wealthy landowner and politician. His gift to the nation 100 years ago of this redwood-lined valley in southwestern Marin, containing the last significant old-growth stands in the county, meant that millions of visitors from around the region and the world would get to witness these magnificent trees. The park’s anniversary caps a remarkable century of conservation in the Bay Area.

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Guaranteed Returns

July 01, 2007 by John Hart

Sure, it can be frustrating to see that land purchased for a park is still closed to the public. But buying open space is only the first step in creating a new park. After that come the land-use plans and the search for funds to pay for facilities and staff. Here we take a look at what it will take for the East Bay Regional Park District to transform the 15,000 acres in its land bank into parks.

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