Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely Shaye have joined with the Natural Resources Defense Council to win battles that include stopping the construction of a proposed salt factory on the Baja California peninsula, the last pristine breeding ground for the Pacific gray whale. Currently they and the NRDC are trying to stop the U.S. Navy’s deployment of a new sonar system, which they contend threatens marine mammals.
Their reasons for trying to protect the ocean are basic. “We live by the sea and we enjoy that whole world,” Brosnan says. Or as Shaye explains, “The ocean is responsible for a lot of our oxygen. Also, marine mammals are mascots of sorts. If we can’t save them, what can we save?”
It’s a planet in peril, but Brosnan sees hope in increased activism. “Fifteen years ago, it was almost a smear to be called an environmentalist. Now, it is palpable in every sense of the word of what’s happening around us.”
As director of the California Coastal Protection Network, Susan Jordan credits Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye with helping to prevent a liquefied natural gas terminal from being built 12 miles off the coast of Malibu. “I honestly feel if they had not gotten involved, 1) I’m not sure we would have won, and 2) we would not have been able to educate the public. They raised it to a national, as well as an international, issue.” As Jordan explains, the facility was an obvious terrorist target due to the highly volatile and inflammable nature of liquid natural gas.
— Robert Hofler