By Dr. Peter Andersen
It is with great sadness I report the death of environmental activist George Courser.
George was one of the San Diego community's leading conservation advocates, and he worked tirelessly on behalf of our environment. People would often describe George as warm, welcoming, tireless, open, kind, and collaborative, but those wonderful qualities did not prevent him from taking on cities, counties, and developers as a ferocious and unrelating champion for the environment.
George served as chair of the Sierra Club San Diego Conservation Committee, and held a half a dozen other Sierra Club leadership roles in San Diego and California. He led four successful lawsuits against a flawed Climate Action Plan for San Diego County, successfully led opposition to numerous major San Diego projects that circumvented the CEQA process, prevented sprawl housing developments, fought environmentally dangerous General Plan Amendments (GPAs), and helped in countless community environmental fights.
In additon, George founded the environmental justice committee for Sierra Club California and provided weekly newsfeeds at both the local level and state level. These actions protected some of the most vulernable Californians from environmental pollution and potential health impacts, and was an important part of the environmental movement's effort to diversify and welcome new advocates into important environmental coalitions.
As a result of George's relentless efforts on behalf of the environment, he was awarded the prestigious Sally and Les Reid Award for Conservation from Sierra Club California.
George's family has asked that gifts on his behalf be made to Sierra Club San Diego.
Photos by John Loughlin (banner) and Tommy Hough (footer).
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