How the West was Lost- the demise of the environmental groups of California

My footprint at Little Shell

How the West was lost: the demise of the environmental groups of California    by joey racano

See that footprint there? That’s my footprint. It sits on the sidewalk near the corner of Beach Blvd and Pacific Coast Highway, in front of a salt water wetland called ‘Little Shell’ in Huntington Beach, California. The California Coastal Commission voted to allow a developer to fill it in to build a hundred million dollar Hyatt Hotel surrounded by luxury townhomes. The wetland was small. Saving it only avoided 33 of those townhomes. But it saved the Coastal Act too, which to this day, is still under attack, especially now that Peter Douglas (Executive Director of the Coastal Commission and one of the authors  of the Coastal Act) has died.

Yes, a lot of folks helped me save Little Shell (where just the plant pallet alone cost 1 million dollars- it’s beautiful!), but it was me who got pissed off, made a sign and stood out on the highway like a rabid Hyena for 111 days, and got it done. That footprint to me, to the coast, might as well be next to Armstrong’s on the moon. They ain’t makin’ any more coast, in the words of Pedro Nava.

When the official word came down that the developer and the Coastal Commission and the city of Huntington Beach were backing off (because they were about to lose in court and we had a good lawyer, Paul Horgan), Me, Doug Korthof, and Dr Jan Vandersloot stood out front of the now saved wetland, and made a pact to take it to the next level. Those guys are dead now, but take it to the next level we did.

Next:  Sewage Terminators- Rise of the Orange County Ocean Outfall Group

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