Protecting and sustaining the unique lands,
waters, and biodiversity of West Marin

Not every place is fortunate enough to have its own environmental watchdog.
Here in West Marin we do, but only for as long as we ensure that it continues.
— Catherine Caufield, EAC member and Inverness resident

The Environmental Action Committee of West Marin (EAC) is a 501(3)(c) environmental nonprofit centrally located in Point Reyes Station, California, the gateway town to the only national seashore on the West Coast.

Since 1971, EAC has remain engaged in the protection of West Marin’s unique lands, waters and biodiversity through advocacy, engagement and education. Located just an hour from San Francisco, our work focuses on large scale environmental threats (i.e. land-use, coastal protections, and climate change) facing the unincorporated coastal communities of West Marin from Dillon to Muir beaches. West Marin is the largest rural region of Marin County, California, 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. 

As one of the only local environmental nonprofits taking on multi-year, and sometimes decade-long campaigns to address environmental threats, we provide an essential voice on behalf of the West Marin’s priceless natural resources. We accomplish our work by bringing people, science and policy together to protect vital ecosystems, defend critical legislation, enforce accountability of our leaders and legislators, and rally our community to become stewards of their community. Often our efforts are not fought over night, so your long-term support and generosity is critical to our ongoing efforts to ensure environmental protection measures are in place and lasting.

 

Mission

To protect and sustain the unique lands, waters, and biodiversity of West Marin. 
We achieve this goal through environmental advocacy, education and engagement opportunities.

Lands

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 protected. These lands are primarily found in the western region of the county, in or around what we affectionately call West Marin. Shaped by tectonic plates, divided by the San Andreas Fault, and set along the Pacific Flyway and Pacific Ocean, West Marin is species rich, diverse, and beaming with life and park protections. However, with roughly 6.5% of Marin’s population residing in the area, plus 2 million visitors a year, environmental threats like development, pollution, and climate change pose a unique set of challenges to its use and management. Since 1971, EAC has been actively advocating for land protection from Dillon to Muir beaches. Our prior successes have included opposing the county-wide plan that would have constructed a six-lane highway from the Golden Gate Bridge to Point Reyes and constructed over 1.3 million homes, stopping the West Marin landfill expansion, and protecting of the Drakes Estero wilderness.




Waters

Marin County is composed of roughly 308 square miles (37.5%) of water resources, including a robust watershed of fresh water creeks, ponds, lakes and reservoirs; but its defining water feature is the vast Pacific Ocean, which surrounds roughly 60% of its shores. In rural West Marin, you can find over 140+ miles of public coastline between Dillon and Muir beaches, plus a federally designated Seashore, and two offshore national marine sanctuaries protecting and providing thousands of square miles of critical habitat for plants, marine and land mammals, birds, and fish, including the federally endangered coho salmon. Since 1971, EAC has been dedicated to the protection of our coastal resources, which are sensitive to environmental threats like development, marine debris, pollution, climate change and sea-level rise, just to name a few. Prior successes for our work have included protection of the Estero Americano and Estero San Antonio from land use development and sewage waste, the jet skis ban in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and Tomales Bay, and the designation of Tomales Bay as a Ramsar site, or wetland of international importance.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity, a combination of bio (life) and diversity, generally refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth. Variation is measured at the genetic, the species, and the ecosystem level. No feature on Earth is more complex, dynamic, and varied than the layer of living organisms that occupy its surfaces and its seas, and no feature is experiencing more dramatic change at the hands of humans. West Marin has been identified as being a part of the California Floristic Province, or one of 25 internationally recognized botanical hotspots with the most concentrated biological diversity and most severe threat of loss according to Conservation International. A snapshot of West Marin’s biodiversity includes 490+ North American bird species, 80+ species of land and marine mammals, 85+ species of fresh and saltwater fish, 29+ species of reptiles and amphibians, 50+ rare, threatened, and endangered wildlife species, and thousands of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrate species including sea anemones, starfish, butterflies, and insects. EAC works with agencies and partners who manage a wide range of parks, open space, and agricultural lands to provide long-term protection for the unique ecosystems supporting our species rich environment. Prior successes for our work have included habitat protection at the Estero Americano and Estero San Antonio from land use development and sewage waste, the jet skis ban in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and Tomales Bay, and the Marin County bird resolution of 2018.


Vision

Our work strives to provide long-term protection and conservation of the unique ecosystems and rural communities of West Marin, and serves as a foundation of environmental protection for future generations.


Guiding Principles

ADVOCACY

Use grassroots strategies to research and publicize local environmental issues facing our community to inform, empower, and educate stakeholders and our members.

APPRECIATION

Respect the complex ecology and intrinsic value of the natural world.

Collaboration

Partner with local communities, organizations, governments, businesses, and members to ensure maximum public participation around local environmental issues.

Education

Provide opportunities to learn about the environment through events, community workshops, outreach, and publications. 

Engagement

Engage our community in activities that promote a healthy environment, including stewardship through membership, events, citizen science and volunteer opportunities. 

Integrity

Use science, law, and policy to make ethical decisions around complex environmental issues in a dynamic environmental and political landscape.