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Photo by John Orvis, a Bay Area based photojournalist and event photographer / photo by John Orvis | www.johnorvis.com

August 6 marks the one year anniversary of the Chevron refinery fire in Richmond. The fire, caused by a leak in a 40-year old pipe, sent a plume of smoke across nearby neighborhoods, leading thousands of residents to eventually seek medical care.

California's outer coast once boasted 27 miles of Bay Area beaches. Up until the 20th Century, these beaches provided a natural buffer for the inner land areas; then came freeways, airports and downtowns. KALW's Ben Trefny spoke with Robin M. Grossinger, Senior Scientist and Historical Ecology Program Director at the San Francisco Estuary Institute about California beaches, landscape heritage and how some of these areas have rebuilt themselves.