The Madeleine Brand Show for April 9, 2012

Remembering Peter Douglas, fierce advocate for California's coasts

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Peter Douglas, executive director of the California Coastal Commission, is shown at in his office in San Francisco on Wednesday, March 30, 2005.

Peter Douglas fought for decades to preserve the California coast. He died last week of lung cancer at the age of 69.

Douglas was the longest-serving executive director of the California Coastal Commission, a state agency that oversees land use and access to coastal areas.

Douglas moved to Los Angeles from Berlin as a child and fell in love with the wide beaches and jagged cliff's of the California coast. He made it his life's mission to ensure that coast remained pristine and accessible to all Californians. He was adamant that the struggle to protect the coast was never over.

Environmentalist David Helvarg joins the show to discuss Douglas' life and his biggest achievements, among them the California Coastal Act, which established the California Coastal Commission, ensured public access to beaches and restricted development along the coast.

Guest:

David Helvarg is the founder of the Blue Frontier Campaign to protect the nation's oceans. He's also the author of the forthcoming book, "The Golden Shore: California's Love Affair With the Sea."


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