West Marin Lands

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West Marin, a sub-section of Marin County, is one of those powerful places, where over 100 years of environmental advocacy mixed with farmland protections, and amazing artists have come together to protect and preserve land for the betterment and enjoyment of all.  (include more history from Marty's book?) 

Located just an hour from San Francisco, our mission-based work focuses on environmental issues facing the coastal communities of West Marin, the largest rural region of Marin County, California. The area generally extends from Dillion Beach to the north, south to Muir Beach, and west of Nicasio and the San Geronimo Valley, out to the Pacific Ocean. The area includes several unincorporated coastal communities (BolinasDillion BeachInvernessMarshallMuir BeachOlemaPoint Reyes StationStinson Beach, and Tomales), and is home to approximately 16,000 people, or about 6.5% of the population of Marin County, and receives over 2+ million visitors a year in search of respite, relaxation, and recreation. 


“For me the concept of the power of place really hit me when I arrived for a six month position to work as an interpreter for the Point Reyes National Seashore. I simply was in awe of place. When my time came to go, I just couldn’t leave. This area I came to know as West Marin from the lighthouse to the rolling hills, forested trails and crashing surf, I was enthralled - it entranced me. I felt grounded like never before, but in constant amazement. Now 17 years later, I am still here, and the power hasn’t lost it’s effect on me.”
— Jessica Taylor, Community resident & EAC staff and member

Power of Place 

(Needs work)

The power of place is a unique concept and hard to define in few words, but we have all experienced it in our lives. Often times we experience it profoundly when we connect with the land (place) on some cerebral, physical, or spiritual level, and it changes us for the good. XXXX says it best.....(look up)

Our individual and collective stories are rooted in the land, and touch every part of of lives from what we eat, to where we live, to how we dress and interact with the world. Wildlife depend on it, and thus on us. 

 

 


Land Facts & Features

 

Land Protection

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Marin County has a total area of 828 square miles, of which 520 square miles is land (62.5%) and 308 square miles (37.5%) is water. 

When Bay Area counties are ranked by the acres they have permanently protected in parks, wildlife refuges and open space preserves, Marin County comes in first with 55.6% of its land, or approximately 289 square miles (185,400 acres) protected, and mostly found in the western region of the county in or around West Marin. And this doesn't even include protected farmlands!

Wilderness

The Phillip Burton Wilderness Area located within Point Reyes National Seashore boundaries represents roughly 33,373 acreas of national designated wilderness. This is the only wilderness between Canada and Mexico that includes marine waters. These wilderness lands and waters provide clean air, water, and habitat critical for 27 rare and endangered plants and animals and close to 100 species of concern.

Learn more about how we helped "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964.  
 

Sesmic Plates, San Andreas Fault & Geology

The West Marin region is located on the San Andreas Fault zone, and is one of the area's defining features, shaping it for thousands of years.  The unique geology of the area provides the foundation for habitat for many plants and animals, which has become a destination spot for many geologists. 


“The loss of our land is not happening by accident. For many decades, our country has created tax laws, zoning and transportation policy that fuel rapid, sprawling development of natural areas. Typical building patterns in America drive us further and further from the center of our communities as we carve up increasingly distant fields and forests. The U.S. population is projected to grow by 100 million and the amount of land covered with housing, roads and shopping malls will nearly triple by 2050. More than 80% of our population will live in metropolitan areas where open space will be increasingly precious.”
— Land Alliance

Conservation Threats

The land is taking a toll as we see the places we have counted upon for generations disappearing due to development, climate change, natural disasters, erosion, shifting political priorities and other factors consuming land faster than ever. While the area is largely protected by county, state and federal agencies they are often underfunded and understaffed to do the necessary large scale research, review and restoration needed to keep our lands healthy. The area is also experiencing high tourism, which is good for the economy, but threatens our roads, infrastructure, and brings in debris and pollution. 

Due to those threats the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin (EAC) is committed more than ever to our mission to protect the unique lands in West Marin through effective advocacy, public education and engagement activities. Learn more about our successes, and programs below. 

 



EAC Land Programs