Coastal Commission head steps aside to fight lung cancer

June 8, 2010

Peter Douglas

Peter Douglas, executive director of the California Coastal Commission and an author of the state’s landmark Coastal Act, is fighting lung cancer and will now have a reduced day-to-day role in this key state agency. [Los Angeles Times]

Douglas, 67, is scheduled to begin chemotherapy this week and will no longer attend monthly meetings, including this weekend’s gathering in Marina del Rey where the Los Osos wastewater project is once again on the agenda.

Serving as executive director since 1985, Douglas is viewed as the driving force behind the controversial commission since he co-authored the 1976 Coastal Act. He is credited with turning the 12-member commission into a platform for aggressively pushing to keep much of the state’s 1,100 mile coastline undeveloped.

Douglas told the Los Angeles Times that he is confident the commission can continue its work of policing land use and public beach access along the coast while he focuses on his battle with cancer.

This is Douglas’ second bout with cancer. He underwent successful treatment for throat cancer more than five years ago.

A physical examination two weeks ago revealed aggressive tumors in his lungs and Douglas opted for chemotherapy.

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Thank You for your wonderful service to the people on the California Coast, Mr. Douglas. Gods speed for your recovery and well being. Many appreciate you and your hard work.