“Have a good time saving the world, or you’re just going to depress yourself. People want to be part of something fun. It’s exciting to change the world.” — David Brower, Earth Island Institute.
Have you heard of the Earth Island Institute and its connection with the San Dieguito Lagoon? Earth Island was founded by the late environmental activist David Brower (1912-2000) who was the first executive director of the Sierra Club and also founded Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters. The name Earth Island came from famous anthropologist Margaret Mead, who urged respect for “The Island Earth.”
What’s the connection to the San Dieguito Lagoon? In January 1993 when the SDRP was a new vision, Earth Island Institute and Southern California Edison (SCE) settled a Clean Water Act lawsuit with a $15 Million award by SCE to restore wetlands at the San Dieguito Lagoon (among other things). Earth Island had boldly acted alone to sue the utility company without the usual government partners who had declined joining the lawsuit. The eventual settlement helped kick-start the $80M lagoon restoration project resulting in over 150 acres of new wetlands that thrive today. SCE had recently committed to restoring the San Dieguito Lagoon as mitigation for the damage caused by the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station cooling system that was entraining and killing thousands of fish and fish larvae every day. The San Dieguito River Park and its many supporters were ready and able as vital partners in seeing to the lagoon’s restoration and would have fun doing it too, just like David Brower had urged.
Other exciting achievements in 1993 included opening the Highland Valley Trail and receiving a State Point of Historical Interest designation for the Sikes Adobe, both in San Pasqual Valley.
For more information about Earth Island Institute visit http://www.earthisland.org/.
Principal Planner, San Dieguito River Park JPA