Bodega Coast Environmentalist to Speak
The Rancho Bodega Historical Society will be celebrating its Annual Picnic with distinguished environmentalist, Bill Kortum, as guest speaker.
Compass Rose Garden in Bodega Bay will be the site for the potluck picnic on Friday, July 30th at 12 noon. Parking is available along Eastshore Road.
The event is free and open to the public. Bringing something for the potluck is encouraged, but not necessary.
Kortum, a retired large animal veterinarian, will speak on his many years as an environmentalist.
In 1962, he and many others protested the building of a nuclear power plant by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG & E) on Bodega Head.
With much public support and the fact that the plant would be virtually on top of the San Andreas Fault line, PG & E abandoned the plan and the site.
Today it is marked only by the deep, water-filled hole that had already been drilled for the reactor. It is known as Hole-in-the-Head and is a favorite bird watching site for locals.
The late 1950’s and early 1960’s started much of the threat to the northern California coastline.
There were plans for a town and housing subdivisions, including roads and future “freeway” to be built out in what is now Point Reyes National Park. Activists stopped this so that the open space and wildlife would be there for future generations.
Also in the 1960’s, when the building of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) was first started, there was a plan to dredge the mouth of the Russian River for gravel to be used for the system’s tunnels beneath San Francisco Bay. This too was halted.
In 1969, Kortum became one of the founders of the California Coastal Alliance, a coalition of many environmental groups dedicated to saving and preserving the coast.
Part of the California Coastal Trail in Sonoma County, from Goat Rock south to Wright’s Beach (Death Rock), is named The Kortum Trail to honor his active part in keeping the coast for the public.