From the heartwarming stories of otters and seals to the zeal and tenaciousness of people, Stephen Palumbi and Carolyn Sotka’s The Death and Life of Monterey Bay is one of my favorite Island Press books. The book showcases a success story of how an economy and an ecosystem can recover in the face of record unemployment, devastating oil spills, and a rancorous public debate — all thanks to the uncommon foresight of ordinary citizens. From trailblazing mayor Julia Platt, to “Doc” Ricketts, immortalized in Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, the book is chock full of colorful characters and funny stories. Once a coastline sullied by industry until the otters, whales, and kelp forests were gone, Monterey Bay is now teeming with life. The Death and Life of Monterey Bay details the deep history of how it got there and offers hope that places that are blighted and seem forgotten can be revived thanks to a community, a world-class aquarium and one of the world’s leading marine preserves. The reasons why Monterey Bay survived and thrived and its success show that our environmental problems can be turned around if the people involved value the world around them and the wildlife that inhabits it.
The Death and Life of Monterey Bay and all our other hardcover and paperback books are on sale for 50-70% off through September 30.