Sylvia McLaughlin was godmother of the modern environmental movement in the United States. In that way I introduced her to audiences many times, including the time the Bay Planning Coalition presented her the Frank Boerger Award, to her everlasting delight.
But Sylvia would ever correct me by saying it was Kay Kerr and Esther Gulick who midwifed that movement beginning in 1960, a full 10 years before the first Earth Day, with only a bit of help from her. Sylvia was, in fact, the fiercest of those three tigresses but regardless, the three did usher in the movement when they founded the Save San Francisco Bay Association, which became remarkable for several reasons.
For one, Save the Bay resurrected the notion that a “conservation” organization could be activist, a notion that had been moribund since John Muir lost his fight to prevent the damming of Hetch-Hetchy Valley.