Saturday, April 4, 2009

Gratitude: Coastal Heros

Peter Douglas front center; Bill Kortum back row, with straw hat.

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.

Bill gives a little talk at the top of Peaked Hill.


Delwyn said...

Aren't we fortunate that there are people willing to devote their time and lives to these important tasks.

Our little town also has a band of 'Protectors', doing their bit to safeguard our special environment and watch over the national parks.

Fortunately our town has had a low rise policy since day 1. We have only a handful of 3 and 4 storey holiday apartment complexes and the rest are only 2 storey. It makes for a much more pleasant holiday environment.
We also have a very stringent building code, much to my husband's chagrin when the bureaucrats in the council office get carried away with their native plant policy, for example.

Delwyn said...

And now for my thanks.
I have just returned from a steep climb up the steps to the top of the Noosa hill and returned back around the shoreline watching the last of the surfers catching the dusky waves.

I give thanks for the opportunity to have these wonderful walks at my doorstep.