24 April, 2010

A Thank You to Three Smart Women

This is my thank you to three women that have made a huge difference in this planet and helped to inspire others.

"Save The Bay was founded in 1961, as "Save San Francisco Bay Association" by three East Bay women who were watching the Bay disappear before their eyes. Kay Kerr, Sylvia McLaughlin and Esther Gulick set out to stop the City of Berkeley’s plan to double in size by filling in the shallow Bay off-shore. They mobilized thousands of members to stop the project, and their resounding victory was repeated on Bay fill projects around the region.

This first modern grassroots environmental movement in the Bay Area won a revolutionary change - tens of thousands of Save The Bay members forced the State of California to acknowledge that the Bay belonged to the public. Save The Bay won a legislative moratorium against placing fill in the Bay in 1965, the McAteer-Petris Act. The Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) was established by the State to plan protection of the Bay, regulate shoreline development, and ensure public access, which at the time was almost non-existent.

BCDC became a permanent agency in 1969, and continues today, the first coastal zone management agency and the model for most others in the world. The agency Save The Bay created has prevented most additional Bay fill, and since BCDC’s inception there has actually been a small net gain in the size of the Bay through tidal marsh restoration. Agency permits for development along the Bay have mandated new public shoreline access, increasing from only four miles of access in 1969 to over 200 miles today.

Save The Bay fought to close the garbage dumps ringing the shoreline, and stop raw sewage flowing untreated into the Bay. We helped establish the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and helped stop the Peripheral Canal from draining more of the Bay’s fresh water from upstream and we fight to protect the Bay from today's biggest threats - pollution and sprawl.

For nearly 50 years, Save The Bay has given San Francisco Bay a voice, and helped shift public attitudes from complacency to vigilance. Today, Save The Bay continues to be the largest regional organization working to protect, restore and celebrate this great natural treasure by advocating for strong policies that protect the Bay from pollution and inappropriate shoreline development; restoring habitat to re-establish 100,000 acres of wetlands; and engaging and inspiring more than 25,000 supporters and thousands of students annually."

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