“. . .Hurricane Sandy reminded New Yorkers that the waterways surrounding them can be a dire threat as well as a great asset. This is a good time to explore their history. John Waldman, a biology professor at Queens College, offers a brief and elegantly written tour in “Heartbeats in the Muck: The History, Sea Life and Environment of New York Harbor” (Fordham University Press, $18).
This updated edition was published before the storm struck, but as Mr. Waldman breezily chronicles the harbor’s ecological decline and rebirth over several centuries, he never underestimates the waters that in one way or another have always defined New York.
Also notable is a new volume edited by Mr. Waldman: “Still the Same Hawk: Reflections on Nature and New York” (Fordham University Press, $18), a collection of essays by writers including Phillip Lopate and Robert Sullivan.”
Read Sam Roberts’ entire column.