Stories of the Coast

A Virtual Tour of the California Coastal Trail

Peter Douglas on the Jonathan Club

Place: Santa Monica Coastline

Featuring the voices of Peter Douglas, former Executive Director of the Coastal Commission, Nancy Cave, staff member assigned to the Jonathan Club permit request, and Una Glass, Executive Director of Coastwalk California.
Produced and hosted by Robin Pressman
Music: “Glacia,” created by Mickey Hart

It’s safe to assume that the authors of the Coastal Act never envisioned the law being used to end discrimination at an exclusive, all white, men’s social club. But that’s exactly what happened in 1985 in a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In this episode, we travel to Santa Monica Beach in Los Angeles, to take a look at one of the Coastal Commission’s most unusual accomplishments, and consider the deeper meaning of “public access.”

Laura Davick on Saving Crystal Cove

Place: Crystal Cove

Featuring the voices of Laura Davick, founder of the Crystal Cove Alliance and Una Glass Executive Director of Coastwalk California.
Produced and hosted by Robin Pressman

In this episode, we take a trip to Crystal Cove State Park in Orange County. This historic beachfront community of hand-built cottages was originally built by squatters in the 1930’s on land owned by the Irvine Company. It survived as a private enclave for dozens of families until State Parks bought the land in 1979. Residents were allowed to remain for another 15 years, but in 1995, the state signed a secret deal with a hotel developer to convert the cottages into an exclusive, luxury resort. But thanks to the vision of one former resident who organized statewide support for preserving and restoring the cottages, Crystal Cove survives today as the last example of authentic early California beach culture. More importantly, it is affordable, and fully open to the public. This is a story about one woman who fought to protect her home—even when she knew it would never be her home again.

Peter Douglas on Saving the Monterey Bay Coastline

Place: Monterey Bay Coastline

Featuring the voice of Peter Douglas, former Executive Director of the Coastal Commission and Les Sternad, retired Coastal Commission staff.
Produced by Robin Pressman
Music: “Glacia,” created by Mickey Hart

Strolling along the edge of Monterey Bay’s segment of Coastal Trail and enjoying the spectacular view you wouldn’t guess how close public access to this beautiful spot came to being lost forever. Peter Douglas and Les Strnad tell the story of how the Coastal Commission saved public access to this spectacular spot. Saving this coastline was one of the Commission’s earliest victories which resulted in a recreational trail enjoyed millions. The public benefit can be counted not only in enjoyment, health and recreation but also its huge economic draw to the area which sustains local business.

The Story of the Hole in the Head
Place: Bodega Head, Sonoma County

Featuring the voice of Bill Kortum, founder of Coastwalk, with Una Glass, Executive Director of Coastwalk
Music: “Glacia,” created by Mickey Hart
Host: Jack Kohler
Producer: Outer Voices

Standing at the site of the Hole in the Head, overlooking Bodega Bay, Bill Kortum tells us the history of the Hole, and how it ignited the environmental movement in California, leading to the information of the California Coastal Commission, the end of nuclear power on Bodega head and a whole new view on coastal advocacy.

Life in the Upwelling

Place: Pt Reyes Lighthouse, Marin County

Featuring the voice of Dr. John Largier, professor of oceanography at Bodega Marine Lab
Music: “Glacia,” created by Mickey Hart
Host: Jack Kohler
Producer: Outer Voices

The view of the ocean from Pt. Reyes lighthouse is an incredible vantage point from which to observe the phenomenon of upwelling: the displacement of surface water with ocean bottom water. Upwelling occurs in a few specific places around the oceans of the earth, but is responsible for providing 20% of the food for the ocean’s creatures. Because of the incredible productivity caused by the upwelling of the California current, the area from Point Arena to the Farallon Islands is crucial to marine life in the Pacific Ocean.

These podcasts were made possible by a grant from the California Coastal Commission.

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