Saturday, April 4, 2009
Gratitude: Coastal Heros
I had the pleasure today to hike and dine with people who have given their lives to preserve public access to the coastline in California. There were actually about two dozen of us who've taken active roles in the work to save the coast of California from the very wealthy who'd like to deny all of us access to the coast so that it could be reserved for their own private pleasure, but two shining citizens stand out from the rest: Bill Kortum and Peter Douglas.
Bill Kortum, the person for whom the Kortum Trail is named, is a true modern-day hero. Many years ago he began the fight to stop Pacific Gas and Electric from putting a nuclear power plant on Bodega Head. Thank God he did. Bodega Head sits right on top of the San Andreas Fault, probably the worst possible location for such a facility. He went on to protect countless acres of coastal lands.
Peter Douglas wrote the California Coastal Commission Act, a law passed by voters in 1972 and now serves as the Executive Director of the Coastal Commission. He's devoted his life to the work of saving the coast from private developers so that all people may enjoy a day at the beach.