October 25 – San Diego Coastkeeper Announces 2011 Hall of Fame Inductees

Oceanside resident Taya Lazootin honored as a Volunteer of the Year

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 6, 2011 – On Saturday, September 17, around 10,000 volunteers will visit 90 coastal and inland cleanup sites for a one-day attack on marine debris and inland pollution. This year, Coastal Cleanup Day coordinators I Love A Clean San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper highlight on their website several green “in need” cleanup sites, where data from the annual event show a higher demand for volunteers. To reduce the event’s carbon footprint and individual waste, organizers also ask volunteers to select local sites in their own communities and to bring reusable buckets, bags, work gloves and water bottles.
“Trash travels from inland communities into storm drains which empty into our canyons, creek beds and eventually the ocean,” said Pauline Martinson, Executive Director for I Love A Clean San Diego. “That’s why it’s especially important for volunteers to lend a hand in their local neighborhood—our entire county needs a cleaning.”
To encourage participation in areas that need extra hands, San Diego’s Coastal Cleanup Day website, www.cleanupday.org features “in need” sites labeled in green in areas such as Clairemont, Normal Heights, City Heights, La Mesa, Tijuana River Valley and more. These sites were identified based on data from previous cleanups, indicating that some inland sites recover more debris as well as larger items such as tires, couches, and more.
“A recent statewide survey shows that this event significantly increases knowledge about the causes of marine debris—and that’s the first step in stopping the problem,” said Alicia Glassco, Education and Marine Debris Manager at Coastkeeper. “We see Coastal Cleanup Day as a hands-on educational event that connects residents to their neighborhood while removing harmful debris.”
I Love A Clean San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper also ask volunteers to reduce their carbon footprint while participating in the event. Instead of traveling long distance to a site, volunteers should stay at their local cleanup locations and remember to bring their own reusable bag or bucket, work gloves and water bottle.
Last year in San Diego County, volunteer involvement rose to approximately 9,000 participants, with another 3,000 volunteers lending their support across the border in the U.S./Mexico-shared Tijuana Watershed. Volunteers removed close to 100 tons of debris from more than 80 cleanup sites along the coastline and in canyons, creek beds, lagoons, estuaries and open spaces.
This year, volunteers should register on the San Diego County event website at www.cleanupday.org. The website includes an interactive Google Map with all cleanup sites in the region, including a handful of green “in need” sites. Sites where registration is at capacity are denoted in red. Information for children, scouts, and groups are also available on the website.

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 25, 2011 – San Diego Coastkeeper, the region’s largest professional environmental organization working to protect inland and coastal waters, announced today its 2011 Volunteer of the Year and inductees to its Hall of Fame.

Oceanside resident Taya Lazootin earned the title as the 2011 Volunteer of the Year. Since September 2009, Lazootin has volunteered in Coastkeeper’s water quality monitoring program. Today, she is a lead volunteer who oversees all aspects of the two-day water quality sampling and laboratory analysis.

“We provide essential water quality data for our county,” said Travis Pritchard, Coastkeeper’s water monitoring lab manager. “Taya is the glue that holds us together.”

Lazootin also helps Coastkeeper’s marine debris staff run special cleanup events, and she regularly supports all north county beach cleanups.

By day, Lazootin trains educators to teach science at the Perris School District. Because of her teacher training background, she also volunteers with Coastkeeper’s Project SWELL. She provides counsel on creative ways to work within school systems and to keep the curriculum updated to meet the needs of today’s technologically advanced classrooms. Lazootin has also helped transform materials for Coastkeeper’s events from environmental activities into formalized educational lessons.

Along with Lazootin, Coastkeeper nominated 27 Volunteer Core Hall of Fame and 41 Water Quality Monitoring Hall of Fame volunteers.

The Volunteer Core Hall of Fame inductees include: Amanda Sousa, Sierra Basegio, Taya Lazootin, Rebecca Kanter, Kevin Straw, Amy Havens, Bonnie Benitez, Chris Gunst, David Babiarz, Jaime Somers, John Freutel, Karen Wytmans, Kathleen Kelly, Katelyn Hailey, Kelsey Flynn-Granquist, Lili Canellas, Maya Wasserman, Molly Troup, Patty Malecke, Ruby Teague, Tom Bernitt, Tori Baird, Travis Johnson, Victoria Rios, Stephanie Killion and Yana Titova.

The Water Quality Monitoring Hall of Fame volunteers are: Adrian Kinnane, Al Barret, Amanda Sousa, Beth Hendershot, Bruce Hendershot, Cathryn Henning, Cynthia Gorham, Debby Knight, Dan Murphy, Frank Kawasaki, Graham Szybala, George Liddle, Jack Marshall, Jim Brown, Kacey Cinciarelli, Karen Waggoner, Rebecca Kanter, Rexanne Dayes, Steve Kwik, Taya Lazootin, Tom Bernitt, Allison Scofield, Ashley Brock, Chris Swanson, Dale Dalrymple, David Babiarz, Elana Colby, Glenda Poliner, Katie Jocelyn, Kelly Gallagher, Lucas Salazar, Melissa Ta, Noah Thoron, Paige Decino, Roderick Michener, Shane Mudd, Shelley Reid, Stephanie Hines, Tara Pelan and Tom Mills.

“If you are serious about protecting our environment, come to Coastkeeper,” said Erin Reynante, volunteer and outreach coordinator at San Diego Coastkeeper. “We will find you the perfect volunteer project so you can make an impact while having fun.”

This year, Coastkeeper has coordinated with around 16,000 volunteers who dedicated more than 27,000 hours of service. This is the same as ten full-time employees contributing their time to saving San Diego’s inland and coastal waters.

Funding from community partners such as the Hattie Ettinger Conservation Fund at The San Diego Foundation, Patagonia and REI make volunteer training and support possible at San Diego Coastkeeper. The organization offers a variety of volunteer opportunities including beach cleanups, water quality monitoring, community outreach, advocacy, education and its new Pollution Patrollers program. For more information, visit Coastkeeper’s official website.

###

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.