Four Decades of Leadership in Marin

Environmental Forum of Marin is a leader in environmental education, advocacy and public service.

The Environmental Forum was established in 1972 by a group of stalwart environmentalists intent upon averting the future of unchecked development in Marin County. Founder Dr. L. Martin ("Marty") Griffin engaged Ellen Straus, Phyllis Faber, Nona Dennis, Kathy Cuneo, and others to convince decision-makers to protect important agricultural lands and natural eco-systems located in the County.

During many early battles to protect Marin from over-development, the Environmental Forum's Founders learned how to persuade local officials to recognize the intrinsic values of open space, watershed vitality, eco-system protection, and sensible development. In the midst of their hard-fought efforts came the understanding that they needed to teach others the same advocacy skills they had taught themselves. The Founders knew that it would take the efforts of many citizens to continue the work they started.

In a speech presented at the 20th Anniversary of the founding of Environmental Forum, Founder Marty Griffin described the environmental catastrophes which occurred in the years between 1961 and 1973 and led to the creation of the Environmental Forum of Marin.

"All the seemingly unstoppable forces of uncontrolled growth came together: freeways, master plans, harbor districts and marinas, water pipeline from the Russian River, bay and ocean sewage out-falls. Behind it all was the under-funded Point. Reyes National Seashore, which brought to West Marin powerful syndicates of land speculators with political connections in Washington, D.C., and Santa Rosa… [The purpose of the Environmental Forum was] to train a cadre of volunteers to be effective and influential workers and speakers in the field of environmental planning and quality. This was the first experiment of its kind in the US. It was an idea whose time had come." 

-- Dr. L. Martin Griffin, 1993

Over the past four decades, the dedicated efforts of trained Environmental Forum members and other informed citizens have preserved much of the rich diversity of Marin County's natural resources and open spaces.

Our History—A Timeline

From Environmental Forum of Marin's founding in 1972, the organization and its members have been at the forefront of the most significant environmental and sustainability battles in Marin County and Northern California. Environmental Forum members’ many successes over the years have preserved and protected the beautiful open spaces that make Marin County one of the most exceptional places in the world.

Our History—A Timeline describes the extent of our dedication and action in preserving Marin's incredible natural beauty.

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