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01/03/2011

Kay Kerr, co-founder of Save the Bay, dies at 99

January 3, 2011 |  4:47 pm

Catherine "Kay" Kerr, 99, co-founder of the first environmental organization dedicated solely to protecting San Francisco Bay, died Dec. 18 at her home in El Cerrito, the University of California said.

 Kerr was the widow of former University of California President Clark Kerr. She and two other wives of UC Berkeley faculty, Sylvia McLaughlin and Esther Gulick, founded Save the Bay in 1961 to fight a plan by the city of Berkeley to fill in part of the bay.

The organization became a model of early environmental grassroots activism and helped start the country's first coastal protection agency, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

Save the Bay also secured a moratorium on landfill in the bay and pushed for the establishment of one of the country's largest urban wildlife refuges.

She was born Catherine Spaulding on March 22, 1911, in Los Angeles and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Stanford University. She married Clark Kerr in 1934; he died in 2003.

 

 

-- Associated Press

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