This article is an excerpt from the book called “Wonderments Of The East Bay” by “Sylvia Linsteadt and Malcolm Margolin”. Little blurb about San Francisco bay. Adding more pride to our cities, including Oakland CA.
In the early 1960s, San Francisco Bay was on its way to being filled within a inch of its watery existence. With 90 percent of the historic tidal marshes gone, it seemed there was no stopping progress. Plans called for looping off mountains, dumping the dirt in the Bay, building more houses and more freeways, and growing the population of the region to a seam-busting fourteen million by 2020. It seemed no amount of asphalt was too much.
Then a trio of determined homemakers from Berkeley stepped in. Fed up with the sight of dump trucks pouring dirt on tidal marshes and construction cranes poised at the water’s edge, they took action. When the region’s high-powered conservation leaders deferred help because they were too busy saving the redwoods and the remote mountains, Kay Kerr, Sylvia McLaughlin, and Esther Gulick concluded, “We’ll do it ourselves.” On stylish letterhead, the fledgling Save San Francisco Bay Association rallied neighbors, Parishioners, Berkeley faculty, and their well-connected spouses. Mr. Kerr, as it happened, ran the University of California.
Grassroots in the truest sense, Save the Bay persevered until local and then national legislation made it impossible to develop wetlands and shorelines without extensive scrutiny. Why did they do it? Someone had to step forward, and three savy, tenacious, extraordinary women took it upon themselves. For the children. For the future. For the simple love of a beautiful sunset or a living landscape.
Today, Mclaughlin Eastshore State Park ,named for Save the Bay’s cofounder Sylvia McLaughlin, Protects eight and a half miles of the Bay’s shoreline and is the unique product of regional, municipal, and private collaboration.
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