A History of Advocacy and Engagement
Engage Locally, Effect Change Nationally
The Environmental Action Committee of West Marin (EAC) was founded in 1971 at the height of the environmental movement by environmentalist, and veteran Marin County Planning Commissioner, Jerry Friedman. A long-time resident of Point Reyes Station, Jerry worked alongside many key players including nonprofits, government agencies, and landholders establishing a foundation for a legacy of local environmental protection. Throughout his life, he was a respected and valued voice of balanced growth, environmental quality, and collaborative decision-making.
EAC took on a critical role as a local grassroots environmental watchdog focused on protection of the unique environmental habitats, agricultural lands, and the rural community values of West Marin in the face of increasing development pressures.
During the 1960s and 70s, people became environmentally aware and active after experiencing a river on fire, contaminated water, polluted air, and mass species die-offs due to harmful pesticides. This was a time when being an environmentalist was not a highly divisive partisan issue. Many key pieces of environmental legislation came out of this movement, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. These environmental regulations were enforced by agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency to clean the air, water, and protect habitats and species.
Some of EAC's earliest campaigns focused on protection of public lands in the newly created Point Reyes National Seashore, support of A-60 zoning to protect agricultural lands, and the mobilization of community efforts in response to the Standard Oil Spill in the San Francisco Bay that devastated beaches and sensitive estuaries like Bolinas Lagoon.
Learn more about some of our key accomplishments below, and check out our latest newsletters, or sign up for our online newsletter to stay in touch with our work.
Some of EAC’s key accomplishments:
- Advocated for the conservation and protection of the Giacomini Wetlands with a organized and well-publicized sail-in, which successfully stopped the construction of a levee.
- Participated in the community effort to stop the controversial Countywide Plan that would have constructed a six-lane highway from the Golden Gate Bridge to Point Reyes and intensely developed the area.
- Stopped the expansion of the West Marin dump through a decade long struggle.
- Banned the use of jet skis in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary including Tomales Bay.
- Protected Estero Americano and Estero San Antonio when the City of Santa Rosa proposed to dump its sewage
- into these estuaries. Later, EAC stopped developers who proposed to build Marin Coast Golf Ranch at the mouth
- of Estero San Antonio.
- Protected the Tomales Dunes-wetlands complex at Lawson’s Landing (after 40 years of advocacy), striking a balance between protecting environmentally sensitive habitat and supporting the continued operation of this large, family-owned coastal campground.
- Led the effort to secure international recognition for Tomales Bay as a Ramsar Site, or Wetland of International Importance.
- Stopped construction of industrial wind turbines along the ridgelines of the east shore of Tomales Bay.
- Successfully advocated for the designation of Drakes Estero Wilderness in Point Reyes National Seashore.
Due to the commitment of prior generations and organizations, like EAC, West Marin is now an international destination, with three national parks, three state parks, miles of open space, and agricultural lands where people come to enjoy, recreate, appreciate, and discover our natural world.