From Thomas J. Osborne, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of History and Department Chair
Santa Ana College, California
Janet Bridgers’ video documentary series, “Heroes of the Coast,” does what no other film or book or any other source does: It elicits from the leading figures the compelling and largely untold story of how California’s renowned coast came to set the gold standard worldwide for regulated development and public access to beaches. As a researcher writing a book (under contract with the University of California Press) on Peter Douglas’s changing roles with the California Coastal Commission, I have found “Heroes of the Coast” invaluable. No other single source compares to it. For example, to gain the information and insights I gleaned from her several interviews with Peter Douglas a researcher would have to personally interview dozens of people, scour newspaper files, and spend untold hours searching websites. I know because I have done all of that for two solid years and still ended up inserting numerous direct quotations from Ms. Bridgers’ illuminating interviews with Douglas and others into my book in progress. Additionally, as a retired college history professor, I think the “Heroes of the Coast” documentary interviews are perfect for time-pressured students taking courses in marine science, public policy, and history. Given Ms. Bridgers’ expertly crafted questions, students would get in viewing a single, roughly one-hour video episode an understanding of the herculean human effort that has gone into saving the Golden State’s shore.
From Sean Anderson
Professor of Environmental Science and Resource Management
California State University Channel Islands
This project is a major contribution to our collective understanding and articulation of the unique path that California has forged over the previous decades. All too often we fail to document this essential history with the voices and personal insights of those most intimately associated with transformative events and difficult struggles. Add to this the fact that several of the key players that were at the ringside of (or indeed inside the ring itself of) policy and public discourse have recently passed away since these recordings were made (most notably Peter Douglas) and you have an irreplaceable historic document. These recordings will be watched, studied, and quoted from for many decades to come by the future advocates for our coast. Know your heroes!
From Jeanette Vosburg
Marina del Rey chapter
Janet Bridgers’ Earth Alert Interviews about the origins of the Coastal Act and the California Coastal Commission are “food for the enviro’s soul”. They can give hope to the most jaded, tired of us.
Janet has done 50 Historic Interviews with California Coastal Activists. Interviews include long-time Coastal Commission Executive Director, Peter Douglas; Ellen Stern Harris— ‘the Mother of the Coastal Act'—; Don May; Mel Nutter, Sara Wan and many other amazing people. My favorite interviews are with Peter Douglas, Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission for over 30 years. Peter survived several legislative attempts to remove him for doing his job. He rarely compromised but when he did, it was with a good heart. Peter Douglas and many other amazing people protected California’s 1100 miles Coastline against impossible odds.
Winners, and those who hope to win new coastal protections for habitat, wildlife, abundant water, and clean air should watch Earth Alert’s Heroes of the Coast Documentary, then choose from over 50 other Earth Alert interviews with more Heroes of the Coast. Recently Janet interviewed former Coastal Commissioner, Sara Wan of Malibu. Janet’s questions and Sara’s answers are brilliant. Each interview will remind you “one person can made a real, profound difference.
From Martin Byhower
Life and Environmental Science teacher and Ecology Community Service Coordinator at the Chadwick School in Palos Verdes for 32 years, who also headed up a 5-acre Chadwick Canyon Coastal Sage Scrub restoration project and a habitat restoration and enhancement project at Ken Malloy/Harbor Regional Park in Wilmington/Harbor City
In this age of corporateideology and "selective" news coverage, one might cynically posit that content (and lack thereof) is dictated by corporate sponsors. It is difficult if not impossible to get the true stories of the real people who, against the odds, bucked the system to fight for change and progress in protecting the environment. While we may take clean, swimmable ocean beaches for granted, we may not realize that it took struggle and grass roots organizing, not to mention brilliant and self-sacrificing individuals, to give us what we have today. The "shifting baseline" that occurs over time leads us to forget just how spectacularly rich previously unspoiled resources once were, and that what we have today, while perhaps better than a generation ago, still isn't as rich, clean, and bio-diverse as in the past. If we want students and future educators to become effective advocates and activists, and not only sustain the progress that has been made but also build upon it, they must see, admire, and appreciate what can be done, who did it, and HOW these TRUE heroes accomplished the many things they did. The Heroes of the Coast Project is a great way to promote and sustain hope for the future!