Board of Directors


Taya Lazootin, President  
Taya Lazootin San Diego Coastkeeper Board Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? Being active in our waterways makes me appreciate the beauty and value of our coastline. Coastkeeper strengthens my role as a successful steward for my community.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coastkeeper? Coastkeeper has a hand in every aspect of protecting fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters– beach cleanups, community engagement, children’s education, information for policymakers, water quality monitoring and more.

Cherishable: Swimming, surfing, boating, biking, and all the other best parts about living in San Diego, require clean water. Let’s keep it fun, San Diego.

Read Taya’s bio.

Jack Brown, Vice President  
Jack Brown San Diego Coastkeeper Board Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? For 33 years I have lived less than a mile from the ocean. This time taught me the importance of protecting our fragile and ever-changing water resources.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coastkeeper? We protect inland waters and coastal waters: either both are healthy or neither is.

Hikeable: The health of our waters directly impacts the quality of flora and fauna on hiking trails across San Diego.

Read Jack’s bio.

Stewart Halpern, Treasurer/CFO  
Stewart Halpern San Diego Coastkeeper Board Treasurer Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? Water is the most fundamental element of life on our planet–protecting it is of the utmost importance to our environment.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coastkeeper? Coastkeeper is less talk, more action—using its water quality monitoring and Waterkeeper to uncover problems and seek remedies.

Cherishable: I cherish the beauty of San Diego every day, of which its marine environment is a vital part.

Read Stewart’s bio.

Catherine Stiefel, Secretary  
Catherine Stiefel San Diego Coastkeeper Board Secretary Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? There are few things more important to sustaining our quality of life than having sufficient, clean water.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coaskteeper? A San Diego without the work of Coastkeeper would be unrecognizable when compared to the aquatic playground we have the privilege of living with today.

Creditable: San Diego’s leaders and everyone in San Diego who protects our waters deserve the credit for the excellent water quality we enjoy today.

Read Catherine’s bio.

Everett DeLano  
Everett DeLano, San Diego Coastkeeper Board of Directors Vice President Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? Coastkeeper is one of the best at using limited resources to do great and important things.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coastkeeper? Coastkeeper is the only organization in San Diego focused solely on protecting one of our city’s most precious resources – its beaches, bays, estuaries, rivers and creeks.

Loveable: I want our waters to be healthy so my kids and their kids can play in them and witness the amazing life forms they have to offer.

Read Everett’s bio.

Lani Lutar  
Lani Lutar San Diego Coastkeeper Board Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? Water is one of San Diego’s greatest assets, and no organization works harder to protect and restore that asset than Coastkeeper.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coastkeeper? By protecting clean water, Coastkeeper protects San Diego’s enviable quality of life. That quality of life is what attracts the most talented people in the world to our city.

Shareable: We share our waters with people around the world.  Nearly 34 million tourists come to San Diego annually to enjoy our gorgeous beaches and bays.

Read Lani’s bio.

Samantha Murray  
Samantha Murray San Diego Coastkeeper Board Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? Coastkeeper knows that what happens on land matters to the ocean. By protecting and restoring our water, they take our fate into their own hands.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coastkeeper? People-power and science run the show here. We manage California’s largest volunteer-powered water quality monitoring program and are the only Waterkeeper organization in the state with our own lab.

Inextricable: Even our bodies recognize our deep connection to water. Research shows that time spent in, or even just near, the water can reduce blood pressure and improve our mood.

Read Samantha’s bio.

Jim Perry  
Samantha Murray San Diego Coastkeeper Board Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? Water is the foundation for everything, but too many of us take it for granted. When we fix our water’s problems, all aspects of life get better.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coastkeeper? Coastkeeper has the knowledge and the power to protect our waters when our federal government can’t or won’t. When decisions in D.C. aren’t up to snuff, Coastkeeper is there.

Solvable: Our problems are big but with knowledge, they’re solvable. By seizing the insights from a variety of science and technology fields, we can tackle any water challenge.

Read Jim’s bio.

Mark Reynolds  
Mark Reynolds San Diego Coastkeeper Board Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? I was born in Ocean Beach, grew up on the water and started sailing here. Coastkeeper is solely dedicated to protecting and restoring this wonderful playground.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coastkeeper? I have seen water quality improve in San Diego because of regulations and organizations like San Diego Coastkeeper.

Sailable: Coastkeeper combines my love of sailing with protections that improve our waters for everyone.

Read Mark’s bio.

Bruce Reznik  
Mark Reynolds San Diego Coastkeeper Board Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? Pound for pound, Coastkeeper is the most effective organization protecting the water I love in the city I love. We squeeze more clean water out of every dollar donated and minute volunteered.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coastkeeper? The amount of difference this dedicated team of volunteers and staff have made is hard to fathom. Without their work, San Diego would be a much different, dirtier place.

Connectable: Water ties us together. To keep San Diego County fishable, swimmable and drinkable, we must connect local efforts across county lines, border regions and champion statewide leadership.

Read Bruce’s bio.

Glen Schmidt  
Glen Schmidt San Diego Coastkeeper Board Vice President Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? I volunteer because water is the most important issue of our region.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coaskteeper? There is literally another world below the surface just a few yards off of the shoreline. Everyone should take the time to visit and discover that wonderful place and learn about the work Coastkeeper does to protect it.

Survivable: Maintaining healthy waters is critical to our region’s economy, quality of life, environmental stewardship, and our survival.

Read Glen’s bio.

Marie Tahan Daniels  
untitled-design-19 Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? One of San Diego’s most under-appreciated resources is water. Coastkeeper’s monitoring of projects related to the region’s water is crucial for all San Diegans.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coastkeeper? Coastkeeper’s water-based education programs, like Project SWELL, are a vital part to teaching San Diego’s youth about the importance of water conservation.

Teachable: Many of Coastkeeper’s initiatives teach the community about better ways to conserve and care for our local environment.

Read Marie’s bio.


Taya Lazootin, President
Scientist, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, San Diego

Taya ensures compliance with environmental law as a scientist at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, San Diego. She is also an adjunct professor in the Earth, Space and Environmental Sciences Department at Palomar College. As a scientist, Taya has 5 years of scientific experience in water quality, sediment, hydrology and ecological assessments of inland and coastal habitats. As an educator, Taya has 15 years of experience including teaching, managing and training teachers at the elementary and middle school level and as a college instructor.

An ecologist at heart, she is an active volunteer and participates in various committees and programs with San Diego Coastkeeper, WiLDCOAST, American Cetacean Society, San Diego Humane Society and Surfrider Foundation. A California native, Taya earned a masters degree in watershed science at San Diego State University and a teaching credential at CSU San Marcos. She worked as a teacher and administrator in the Perris School District in Perris, Riverside for 10 years. She currently lives in Oceanside. (Return to top)

Jack Brown, Vice President
Jack was a government law attorney with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office for 34 years before he joined Chatten-Brown & Carstens part time as special counsel. For 17 years, Jack specialized in land use and the California Environmental Quality Act, both in the main office and as an attorney with the Department of Water & Power. For seven years he worked in the city attorney’s Appellate Section, where he eventually became supervising attorney. Here he drafted, reviewed, and argued a multitude of cases before state and federal appellate courts. Jack obtained a bachelors of arts from UC Berkeley, a master of science in industrial management from MIT, and in 1974 his juris doctorate from USC School of Law. (Return to top)

Catherine Stiefel, Secretary
Catherine is a CPA with 20 years of business experience, primarily in accounting and finance. Cathy joined Deloitte & Touche in 1992, where she served a broad range of clients in the real estate and energy industries, among others. In 2001, Cathy joined Science Applications International Corporation as director of corporate accounting for acquisitions, divestitures and investments, and she became a vice president while serving in this role for five years. Cathy left SAIC in 2006 to take the assistant controller position at Petco. In 2007, Cathy left Petco to pursue other business and personal interests.

Cathy served from 2006 to 2009 on the board of directors of Stiefel Laboratories, Inc., a global pharmaceutical company and leader in dermatology research. She served on the board of directors of Freedom Meditech, Inc. from 2008 to 2014. Freedom Meditech is an early stage company focused on improving the detection and management of diseases, such as diabetes. Cathy also serves on the audit committee for the County of San Diego. Cathy graduated summa cum laude from San Diego State University in 1992 with a B.S. in business administration, emphasis in accounting. She is a certified public accountant in California and maintains her license in active status. Cathy is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and CalCPA. (Return to top)

Stewart Halpern, Treasurer
Senior advisor, Roovy

Stewart has a broad business background with over 30 years of experience as the senior financial executive of companies such as San Diego-based Mad Catz Interactive, videogame publisher Rock Star Games, and entertainment entrepreneur Russell Simmons’ Rush Communications, along with extensive Wall Street experience as a sell side equity analyst and investment banker.

Since stepping down as CFO from Mad Catz in late 2010, he has been independently advising a number of private companies on strategic, financial and operational matters while also serving as the treasurer on the board of Free Flight, a nonprofit exotic bird sanctuary in Del Mar.

Stewart earned a Bachelor of Sciences degree from Yale College and a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Management. He currently resides in La Jolla. (Return to top)

Everett L. DeLano III
Attorney, DeLano & DeLano

Everett is an attorney who specializes in land use and environmental law, with a commitment to preserving and protecting communities and the natural environment.

With expertise encompassing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Clean Water Act, Everett represents homeowners’ associations, non-profit organizations, and neighborhood groups and individuals. Earlier in his career, he worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Los Angeles, the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund in Denver, and the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado.

Everett graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of San Diego in 1989. He attended law school at USC, where he served on the Interdisciplinary Law Journal and Major Tax Journal, served as an extern to the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and was the sole recipient of the U.S. Law Week Award. Everett lives in Valley Center and his firm, DeLano & DeLano, is based in Escondido. (Return to top)

Lani Lutar
President, Responsible Solutions, LLC

Lani Lutar is president of Responsible Solutions, LLC, a public affairs firm specializing in coalition building, government relations and community engagement. She has more than a decade of experience in strategic marketing, public policy analysis, business development and media relations. Lani serves as Special Advisor for the Equinox Center, providing support in the areas of public policy research and advocacy, development and special projects. She earned a Master of Pacific International Affairs degree from the University of California, San Diego and graduated magna cum laude from San Diego State University with a BA in Psychology. (Return to top)

Samantha Murray
Executive director, Master of Advanced Studies Program in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Samantha Murray is the Executive Director of the Master of Advanced Studies Program in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She has more than 15 years of experience in conservation and has directed ocean and water programs at Ocean Conservancy, the Audubon Society and Oregon Environmental Council. Samantha played a key role in the design and implementation of California’s network of Marine Protected Areas, which now covers 16 percent of state waters.

More recently, Samantha founded an ocean consulting business, where she worked with clients on issues related to water quality, ocean acidification, habitat protection and climate change. She blended this work with a commitment to diversity and inclusion and an eye toward more equitable impacts of public policy.

Samantha has spoken at conferences around the world about conservation best practices and holds a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School, where she was awarded a Certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law. (Return to top)

Jim Perry
Professor of pediatrics and affiliate professor of bioengineering, University of California San Diego

Jim is the director of the cardiac electrophysiology and adult congenital heart programs at Rady Children’s Hospital. He has worked at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Texas Children’s Hospital, Yale University and Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego. He has medical device patents, experience as chief science officer of a device start-up, leads a translational effort between pediatrics and bioengineering at UCSD and has 100 peer-reviewed medical publications. He is an international lecturer in the field of pediatric cardiac rhythm disorders.

Jim grew up on the water on Long Island, was (and sort of still is) a competitive swimmer, sailor, and scuba diver. He is also a lifetime member of the Surfrider Foundation. During his professional travels he co-founded two Surfrider chapters, one in Connecticut and one in Minnesota. He enjoys surfing, travel, good food and wine, and solving problems with innovative approaches. He and his wife, Nicole, live in Ocean Beach with their two dogs Elvis and Milo. (Return to top)

Micah Mitrosky
Environmental Organizer – International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569
In her role as an Environmental Organizer with IBEW Local 569, Micah is working to ensure San Diego and Imperial County’s green economy creates good, middle-class jobs that are sustainable for local workers and for the environment. She is also engaging environmental partners to build blue-green alliances around climate change, clean air and water and other environmental issues affecting working people. Prior to joining IBEW Local 569, Micah was a Conservation Organizer for the Sierra Club’s San Diego Smart Energy Solutions campaign. An east coast transplant and now a resident of Pacific Beach, Micah has spent a lifetime enjoying the ocean and beaches of both coasts.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Duke University and a Master’s in Sociology from San Diego State University.

Mark Reynolds
Competitive sailor

When Mark Reynolds walked into Opening Ceremonies at Sydney’s Olympic Games, he made U.S. Olympic Yachting history as a four-time consecutive Olympic representative in the same event. Well-known as the “Star of the Star class,” Reynolds has the resume to back up the well-deserved nickname: two world championship titles (’00, ’95) and three Olympic medals (1992 Gold,1988 Silver, 2000 Gold) in arguably the most competitive one-design class in the world. Reynolds was introduced to the sport at age four by his father, Jim Reynolds, himself the 1971 Star World Champion (as crew for Dennis Conner). As a sophomore in college, Mark was All American on the San Diego State University sailing team in 1974. Mark led the team to a 2nd place finish both in 1974 and 1975 in the North American Dinghy Championships. A protégé of Conner’s, Mark started his first Olympic campaign in the Flying Dutchman class. Sailing with Miami’s Augie Diaz, Reynolds’ Olympic dreams were sidelined when the US boycotted the 1980 Games. A Star campaign, founded in 1986 with Hal Haenel (Los Angeles, Calif.), earned him four trips to the Olympics.

Mark was born in Ocean Beach and currently lives in Loma Portal. He graduated from San Diego State University and has a honorary doctorate from Piedmont College. He’s on the San Diego Yacht Club’s green sub committee and is a co-liaison for the Sailors for the Sea’s Clean Regatta certification program. (Return to top)

Bruce Reznik
Executive director, Los Angeles Waterkeeper

Bruce Reznik became executive director of LA Waterkeeper (LAW) in September 2015, where he directs the organization’s advocacy and programmatic work. Reznik previously spent eleven years as executive director of San Diego Coastkeeper, where- under his direction- the organization grew into the region’s most effective voice for clean water and helped dramatically reduce sewage, stormwater and industrial pollution of area waterways and educated and engaged tens of thousands of San Diegans in clean water efforts.

Immediately prior to joining LAW, Bruce served as Executive Director for San Diego Housing Federation, where he promoted affordable housing and sustainable community development to ensure all San Diegans could afford a safe and stable place to call home. He also has led the Sacramento-based Planning Conservation League, where he directed the organization’s efforts to promote sustainable water, land-use and transportation policies for California, as well as the Sustainable San Diego collaborative dedicated to ensuring the long-term vitality of the San Diego/Tijuana region’s communities, environment, and economy by strengthening and integrating regional planning. Bruce also worked to promote sustainable land-use and transportation planning for the LA based consulting firm Gladstein, Neandross & Associates.

A California-licensed attorney, Reznik holds an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and his law degree from the University of San Diego. Reznik has served as an Alternate on the California Coastal Commission, and has sat on numerous local, state and national boards and commissions, including the international Waterkeeper Alliance for six years. After too many years away from Los Angeles, Bruce is thrilled to be back home with his rescue dogs, Sasha and Bandit. (Return to top)

Glen Schmidt
President, Schmidt Design Group, Inc.

Glen is President of the Schmidt Design Group, Inc. a San Diego based landscape architecture and planning firm that specializes in both artful and environmentally sustainable solutions in their work.

Established in 1983, Glen’s firm has won more than 100 local state and national awards for design excellence, including 10 local Orchid awards. In 2005 Glen was inducted as a Fellow in The American Society of Landscape Architects for “Significant Works of Landscape Architecture”.

Glen has been active in lending his expertise toward responsible water policy in our region. He is past Vice-Chair of the Public Utilities Advisory Commission for the City of San Diego, has twice served on advisory committees for the Long Range Water Resource Plan for the City, and is past Vice-Chair of the San Diego Water Policy Implementation Task Force.

Glen holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Planning and Management from UC Davis. He is a San Diego native, an avid surfer, and a resident of Bay Park in San Diego. (Return to top)

Marie Tahan Daniels
President, Caelum Marketing, LLC

Marie Tahan Daniels is the owner of a local public relations and marketing company, Caelum Marketing, where she creates content and opportunities for clients in the hospitality and nonprofit sector. With a longtime passion for food, Marie actively works in the culinary community throughout California and Baja California through her online media outlet, Her community involvement has spanned the gamut in San Diego as chair, committee member or board member of several of San Diego’s prominent organizations like Kids Korps USA, The New Children’s Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum and United Cerebral Palsy’s Beach & Country Guild. (Return to top)