This is a proud legacy to leave for future generations—and one that we should protect vigilantly at all costs. For as the late conservationist Peter Behr would remind us, "Conservation victories can be temporary, while the losses are permanent." The battle is never over.
~ L. Martin (Marty) Griffin, M.D., local conservationist, physician, public health advocate, ACR Founder and Emeritus Director
ACR Founder Marty Griffin wrote the above words in his book Saving the Marin-Sonoma Coast, where he tells the dramatic story of local conservationists—including himself—whose passion and daring succeeded in defending wildlife habitats, defeating runaway growth and opening the door to a new environmental ethic...forever protecting wild landscapes and transforming the political landscape of Marin and Sonoma counties. Marty's words and actions continue to inspire us every day.
Celebrating our Founder: 100 Gifts to Honor 100 Years
On July 23, 2020, Marty Griffin, Audubon Canyon Ranch’s beloved founder, becomes a centenarian. To celebrate, and with Marty’s blessing, ACR has launched 100 for 100. Our campaign aims to honor Marty and raise 100 donations—of any amount—to support the nature education and land stewardship programs at his namesake, the 1,000-acre Martin Griffin Preserve. While COVID-19 may have altered our plans for a gathering in-person on the preserve, it won't stop us from celebrating Marty.
Read birthday wishes shared by some Marty's fans when they made their tribute gift:
Happy 100th Birthday, Marty!
Happy Birthday, Marty. Rarely have I seen such universal acclaim for one person who has truly made the world a better place. What you have done is special, indeed.
Thanks for this opportunity to honor Marty and the organization I love.
It's an honor and a privilege to work for the organization that you helped found so many years ago, Marty. We all stand in gratitude to you! Happy 100th *wow* Birthday!
Celebrate and enjoy, Marty. Best wishes!
Happy 100, Marty! Thank you for your life-long dedication to nature's most vulnerable populations.
Happy Birthday, Marty! With deep thanks for making ACR happen! ACR brought light to my students and me during my teaching years and it has been the focal point of my retirement as I continue to help open students' eyes to the outdoors. I am grateful
You are an inspiration! Happy Birthday.
—Gail Ross (2014)
Happy birthday, Marty. We couldn't have done any of what we are doing without you!
Congratulations on 100 years of a lifetime dedicated to conservation and developing a great team to carry your visions forward.
—Bryant and Diane Hichwa
Happy Birthday and THANK YOU!!
Saving Wildlands in the North Bay and Beyond
A conservationist since the 1950s, Marty was instrumental in the creation of Audubon Canyon Ranch, prevention of a coastal freeway and aqueduct, and the preservation of sanctuaries on Bolinas Lagoon, Tomales Bay, Sonoma Creek and Point Reyes. Thanks to the efforts of Marty and like-minded conservationists, the coastline of Marin County was rescued from commercial development and held in permanent trust for the public.
Marty's preservation work extended beyond the coastal wildlands. He was a co-founder of The Environmental Forum of Marin, established a wildlife preserve in Haleakala National Park, participated in wildlife work in Nepal and was elected a director of the Marin Municipal Water District. In 1990, Marty founded the Russian River Task Force, the Russian River Environmental Forum and Friends of the Russian River, which became Russian RiverKeeper.
A recent article by the National Park Service reminds us of the broad impact of his life work...at ACR and beyond.
A Dedicated Conservationist and Physician
Marty's love of the outdoors started at a young age and grew as he did. Reading his letter to family after hiking the John Muir Trail in 1938 gives us insight into the young man who would later dedicate his life to protecting the landscapes he loves.
In addition to his career as a preservationist in the United States and abroad, Marty is a distinguished physician and public health innovator. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II, helped establish the Ross Valley Clinic, Ross General Hospital, Kentfield Psychiatric Hospital and the Tamalpais Retirement Center. He served as the Chief of Medicine at both Marin General and Ross hospitals. Marty resides in Belvedere with his wife Joyce. He has four daughters.
Saving the Marin Sonoma Coast: Available for Download
Marty Griffin and ACR: A Video about an Unwavering Conservationist
Watch this inspiring mini-documentary about Marty's quest to protect the landscape he loves—and inspire others to join him. Starting with the then-polluted Bolinas Lagoon, Marty tells the story of saving the lagoon, forming Audubon Canyon Ranch, and continuing his conservation battles up the coast to Tomales Bay.