Conservation: Fighting to Save San Francisco Bay

If California ever becomes a prosperous country, this bay will be the center of its prosperity. The abundance of wood and water, the extreme fertility of its shores, the excellence of its climate, which is as near to being perfect as any in the world, and its facilities for navigation, all fit it for a place of great importance.

When Richard Henry Dana wrote these observations in his diary at Christmastime, 1835, San Francisco Bay was 700 square miles of pristine majesty. In the years since, the building of the "place of great importance" has exacted its toll. Piers, salt...