The History, Sea Life, and Environment of NY Harbor

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Heartbeats in the MuckThe award winning book, Heartbeats in the Muck: The History, Sea Life, and Environment of New York Harbor has been updated and reissued in paperback. In Heartbeats, author John Waldman covers the arc of history of New York Harbor from its pristine origins through the ravages of the industrial era to its remarkable comeback today.

First published in 1999, the volume won a New York Society Library Award. The revision includes an epilogue that brings the story of the Harbor to 2012, the 40th Anniversary of the critically important Clean Water Act, and includes the ambitious ongoing oyster restorations; alien species such as Asian shore crabs, zebra mussels, and snakehead fish; the effects of climate change; rehabilitation of the legendarily polluted Gowanus Canal, and even a return of bald eagles to Manhattan. Waldman’s work on New York Harbor also resulted in a Norcross Wildlife Conservation Award and, in 2012, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Conservation Award.

Heartbeats was released in conjunction with an anthology edited by Waldman on urban nature titled Still the Same Hawk: Reflections on Nature in New York. Hawk collects 11 new essays of creative non-fiction by such noted naturalists and writers as Tony Hiss, William Kornblum, Phillip Lopate, Anne Matthews, and Robert Sullivan, many of which touch on New York’s history. Both books were published by Fordham University Press.

John Waldman joined the faculty of Queens College as a tenured professor of Biology in 2004. For the previous twenty years he was employed by the Hudson River Foundation for Science and Environmental Research, most recently as Senior Scientist. He received a Ph.D. in 1986 from the Joint Program in Evolutionary Biology between the American Museum of Natural History and the City University of New York, and prior to that an M.S. in Marine and Environmental Sciences from Long Island University. As an aquatic conservation biologist he has authored more than 80 scientific articles and several popular books, in addition to a number of scientific volumes. I’ve also been an occasional contributor to the New York Times and other periodicals.

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