A fond goodbye to the woman who founded Heal the Bay.
The Sinai Chapel was shoulder to shoulder with people who had come to this final parting. From the words of her protective brother and her admiring grandaughter, from the stories of her two lifelong best friends, a picture emerged of a beloved sister, mother, grandmother, and friend who knew how to love, how to encourage and support, and how to have fun.
”Katchkala” her brother called her, stood on the bima in front of the simple flower-covered wooden casket. I heard the loving kindness in his voice, the generosity that comes from the ability to really see the one you love. The bond between Gerald Cohen and his beloved younger sister, Dorothy Green, had given her an acceptance of her intelligence and skills and her grounded self- confidence.
Mark Gold, now president of Heal the Bay and Dorothy’s first staff hire 22 years ago, called her his mentor and his closest friend. In his eulogy he said, ”Immortal: I never thought this day would come. Dorothy was so strong and has overcome so many enormous obstacles to achieve so much, that I just never thought she would leave us. There is too much work that still needs to be done. I loved her so much, and relied on her constantly over the last 22 years. Now she is gone. But is she really? Look around you at the incredible people that she has touched, inspired, and taught.”
Dorothy will be with us in memory and in action. She will be in every tree we plant to filter stormwater, in green streets and new parks, and every action that that takes urban runoff, purifies and returns it back to the aquifer so we protect the Santa Monica Bay and create a clean and sustainable water supply.
”Katchkala” translated from the Yiddish means ”little duckling.” It was a prescient name given to the child who would dedicate a large part of her adult life to the protection of the Santa Monica Bay and to advocacy for water quality. She inspired me. I am proud to have been her friend, and I will miss her.
Dorothy Green was the founding president of Heal the Bay, the Los Angeles/San Gabriel River Watershed Council, and a founder of the California Water Impact Network.Susan Cloke is the Chair of the City of Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission and a former Member and Chair of the Regional Water Quality Control Board