June 11 – San Diego Coastkeeper Celebrates 20th Anniversary Protecting the County’s Waters

Region’s water quality, water supply watchdog announces event honoring two decades of impact

SAN DIEGO, June 11, 2015 – San Diego County is defined by meandering creeks and rivers, a beautiful coastline and an economy fueled by clean water. That’s why San Diego Coastkeeper has dedicated two decades to protecting and restoring fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters to ensure San Diego County keeps this heritage alive.

A two-person team gave life to the nonprofit in 1995 to combat pollution and toxic dumping into San Diego Bay. San Diego Coastkeeper, known then as San Diego Baykeeper, emerged as the 15th Waterkeeper organization in the country, focusing its efforts on local, community-based advocacy. The team of two demonstrated early success by bringing major corporations into compliance with pollution laws, reducing sewage spills in the City of San Diego and reducing countywide beach advisories.

“San Diego Coastkeeper has grown into a movement of thousands of volunteers, members, donors and partners passionate about protecting our waters,” said Executive Director Megan Baehrens. “We have drastically improved the health of San Diego’s waters and protected the resources and activities that define the San Diego County way of life.”

San Diego Coastkeeper has a long list of accomplishments from its 20-year timeline:

  • After 15-years of negotiation and public relations, Coastkeeper and partners earned a unanimous city council vote for Pure Water, San Diego’s new water recycling program.
  • Twelve years of volunteer water quality data collection has generated insight on regional pollution issues and provided otherwise unavailable information during crises like the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon sewage spill and San Luis Rey River fish kill.
  • Project SWELL has provided K-6 environmental education to San Diego students for twelve years and in 2015 it launched Water Kits for All, providing environmental STEM lessons throughout the county.

“This truly calls for a celebration,” said Baehrens, who notes the Seaside Soiree on October 28 as the next formal chance for the public to join the fun.

Looking ahead to the next twenty years, San Diego Coastkeeper will:

  • Bring industrial polluters to task for dirtying San Diego County water;
  • Train 300 citizen scientists to investigate the impacts and root causes of the urban runoff that strangles our water quality; and
  • Lead common sense water conservation measures and innovative new water management practices like recycling and stormwater capture so our region meets the statewide 25 percent conservation mandate.

For more information about San Diego Coastkeeper and how you can contribute to protecting the county’s waters, please visit Coastkeeper’s website at localhost/sdcoastkeeper.

###

SAN DIEGO COASTKEEPER
Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects the region’s bays, beaches, watersheds and ocean for the people and wildlife that depend on them. We balance community outreach, education, and advocacy to promote stewardship of clean water and a healthy coastal ecosystem. For more information, visit San Diego Coastkeeper online at http://localhost/sdcoastkeeper.