June 8 – Coastkeeper Honors Eight Coastal Champions This Morning

Supervisor Slater-Price honored with Lighthouse Lifetime Achievement Award

SAN DIEGO, June 8, 2012 – This morning, San Diego Coastkeeper presented Coastal Champion awards to eight environmental leaders across San Diego County for their efforts to protect fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters. Hosted at Birch Aquarium on World Oceans Day, Coastkeeper’s yearly awards program honored individuals and organizations for their contributions in the categories of Runoff Rockstar, Find & Fix, Marine Conservation, Water Wise, Blue Tech, Lighthouse Lifetime Achievement, Volunteer of the Year and ASBS Special Recognition.

The 2012 Coastal Champions include:

●      County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, Lighthouse Lifetime Achievement: for her commitment to clean water throughout a long-standing career in public office, Slater-Price secured nearly $10 million in funding for environmental projects in San Diego and allocated a $112,000 grant for the foundation of open-air classrooms at San Dieguito River Park. Throughout the years, she has supported stormwater regulation, water quality testing and posting of contamination warnings, restoration of the San Dieguito wetlands, land acquisitions and construction of the San Elijo Lagoon visitors’ center.

●      Oscar Romo of Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Runoff Rockstar: for spearheading restoration and preservation projects throughout the Tijuana River watershed that reduce the cross-border flows of sediment, sewage and trash that pollute San Diego County coastal wetland ecosystems.

●      Hike Bike Kayak, Marine Conservation and ASBS Special Recognition: for building a tourism business that combines recreational activity with education about San Diego’s unique marine ecosystems. Hike Bike Kayak also received the ASBS Special Recognition for its contribution to protecting one of the most pristine and biologically unique coastal areas in our state, the ASBS (Areas of Significant Biological Significance) located off La Jolla’s shoreline.

●      The Escondido Creek Conservancy, Find & Fix: for identifying abandoned cars in the Escondido Creek and acting decisively to fix the problem. TECC brought together volunteers and built partnerships with local businesses, municipal agencies and the fire department to prepare the sites for removal of the vehicles from a threatened environment.

●      Carlos Zamora of Z Data Solutions, Blue Tech: for exceptional innovation in the development of a crowd-sourcing application and website to empower community members, organizations and agencies to track and reduce pollution in San Diego County.

●      City of San Diego Public Utilities Department’s Residential Outdoor Water Conservation Rebate Program, Water Wise: for helping over 300 customers conserve 61.8-million gallons of water over ten years by offering rebates for smart controllers, micro-irrigation, turf replacement and rain barrels.

●      Beth and Bruce Hendershot, Coastkeeper’s Volunteers of the Year 2012: nominated for relentlessly donating their time to Coastkeeper’s water quality monitoring lab. For several years, the married duo who live in Del Mar, dedicate at least one weekend a month to gathering, delivering and analyzing water quality samples in North County.

The award winners received a hand-made glass sculpture depicting one of the beautiful
sea creatures that their work helps to protect. James Stone of Stone and Glass designed, created and generously donated the award sculptures to commemorate his dedication to the ocean.

Generous contributions from Birch Aquarium at Scripps; Hunter Industries; International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 569; Stone and Glass; The Safe Drinking
Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond
Act of 2006, administered by the California State Water Resources Control Board; and
support from Think Blue, City of San Diego made the event possible.

For more information about San Diego Coastkeeper and the event, please visit www.sdcoastkeeper.org.

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SAN DIEGO COASTKEEPER: Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects and
restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. Visit us online
at http://localhost/sdcoastkeeper.