274 pages, illustrations, maps
San Francisco Bay is the largest and most productive estuary on the Pacific Coast of North America. It is also home to the oldest and densest urban settlements in the American West. Focusing on human inhabitation of the Bay since Ohlone times, Down By The Bay reveals the ongoing role of nature in shaping that history.
From birds to oyster pirates, from gold miners to farmers, from salt ponds to ports, Down By The Bay is the first history of the San Francisco Bay and Delta as both a human and natural landscape. Down By The Bay offers invaluable context for current discussions over the best management and use of the Bay in the face of sea level rise.
" [...] A thorough and highly engaging account of the use and development of the Bay shoreline and intertidal zone, a region often understudied by cultural and ecological historians. This ecologically-grounded narrative is an important contribution to our understanding of the development trajectory of the region."
- Robin Grossinger, Senior Scientist, San Francisco Estuary Institute.
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Matthew Morse Booker is Assistant Professor of History at North Carolina State University. He was a Visiting Professor in the Spatial History Lab at Stanford from 2008-2009 and continues to be the principal investigator for the Between the Tides project, which looks at the changing relationship between society and nature on San Francisco Bay's dynamic tidal margin.