By John Hart

When Carl Morrison died in a crash of his small plane near Petaluma this past April, the press noted the loss of a family man, Civil Air Patrol commander, Marine Corps Veteran, and pious Mormon. The shock also reverberated through the world of Bay Area flood control and water agencies, for whom Morrison was indispensable. As his Bay Area business expanded, Morrison eased his commute by training as a pilot and acquiring a small plane. People marveled at how many places he seemed to be. “There must have been more than one of him,” says Napa County’s Rick Thomasser. A man of formal habits, Morrison never dressed down for field-work. His peers might smile at that, but they cherished his other qualities: His absolute reliability, his deftly employed humor, and his unfailing courtesy.

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The Quiet Go-To Guy: Carl Morrison

By John Hart

When Carl Morrison died in a crash of his small plane near Petaluma this past April, the press noted the loss of a family man, Civil Air Patrol commander, Marine Corps Veteran, and pious Mormon. The shock also reverberated through the world of Bay Area flood control and water agencies, for whom Morrison was indispensable. As his Bay Area business expanded, Morrison eased his commute by training as a pilot and acquiring a small plane. People marveled at how many places he seemed to be. “There must have been more than one of him,” says Napa County’s Rick Thomasser. A man of formal habits, Morrison never dressed down for field-work. His peers might smile at that, but they cherished his other qualities: His absolute reliability, his deftly employed humor, and his unfailing courtesy.

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About the author

John Hart is an environmental journalist and author of sixteen books and several hundred other published works. He is also the winner of the James D. Phelan Award, the Commonwealth Club Medal in Californiana, and the David R. Brower Award for Service in the Field of Conservation. For ESTUARY, he writes on groundwater, infrastructure, and California water politics and history.