Legal Defense Fund

Contra Costa County Courthouse — One of the courts where SPRAWLDEF launches litigation

SPRAWLDEF has a very strong track record using litigation – or sometimes just the threat of legal action – to negate or correct actions that would harm the environment or negatively affect issues valued in the organization’s mission statement.

SPRAWLDEF brought lawsuits:

To stop the Expansion of the Potrero Hills Landfill into the Suisun Marsh in Solano County, California;

To protect the State Park Beach in the McLaughlin East Shore State Park from environmental degradation from overuse by off leash dog activity along the Alameda County shoreline, California;

To save a wildlife corridor in the relative pristine natural habitat in Corral Hollow Areas slated to be added to the Carnegie Off Road Vehicle Park and thereby suffer extensive destruction and environmental degradation in Eastern Alameda County, California;

To promote environmentally sound and less expensive vegetation management in the Wildland Urban Interface from Richmond to San Leandro, California;

To save Point Molate as a Regional Park in Richmond, California;

To protect habitat and Richmond residents from toxics at the extremely toxic site known as Zeneca, formerly the site of the Stauffer Chemical facility in South Richmond, California.


            SPRAWLDEF is a lead plaintiff in two lawsuits against the City of Richmond, California to save Point Molate as a regional park.

            One suit is in federal court to void an illegal settlement agreement that the City of Richmond entered into with the former Casino developer Upstream Molate LLC and the Guideville Tribe. 

            The second lawsuit is against the City of Richmond for its approval of the luxury housing development at Point Molate and certification of the Environmental Impact Report for that project.  This lawsuit seeks to overturn the approvals on the grounds that the EIR is inadequate and legally cannot provide the environmental basis for approving the luxury housing development.

Some Links to more information

Opinion Piece by Helvarg & Cummings, shows the link of this issue to climate justice,

East Bay Express Reporter’s Overview has excellent photos and maps of both development plans

S.F. Chronicle analysis: Two cities at financial risk

Victory in Tesla: New 3100 Acre State Park

By carefully selecting issues, cases, and campaigns which maximize environmental impact as well as likelihood of success, SPRAWLDEF has managed to accrue and grow its legal fund to sustain and support our ongoing work. SPRAWLDEF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. If you like what we are doing, please consider making a tax deductible donation to SPRAWLDEF today.

Donate to help SPRAWLDEF in its work to protect our environment.

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