Fifteenth Annual Coastal Champion Awards

Written by San Diego Coastkeeper
coastal_champions_group

Meleah Ashford Photo

San Diego Coastkeeper is gearing up to hold its 15th annual Coastal Champion Awards on the morning of June 4, 2013 where we want your suggestions on who to recognize! We will be honoring nominees from each of the following categories.

•    Blue Tech – for exceptional innovation in the development and/or use of technology to protect and restore fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County.

•   Find and Fix – for successfully identifying and developing a solution to solve an existing pollution problem.

•    Lighthouse Lifetime Achievement – for all past achievements and dedication in advancing fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County.

•    Marine Conservation – for actions that advocate for the monitoring and/or implementing of ocean conservation programs, techniques and innovations.

•    Runoff Rockstar – for reducing urban runoff through proven practices, including, but not limited to, low impact development, pollution prevention and urban waste reduction.

•    San Diego Coastkeeper’s Volunteer of the Year – for their outstanding efforts and achievements this individual was able to accomplish here at San Diego Coastkeeper.

•    Water-wise – for water-friendly landscaping techniques––like water conservation––and the use of methods to promote healthy environmental restoration with native plants and natural growth.

And one nominee will also receive our…

•    Special Recognition – for efforts and achievement in improving the water quality of one of the two recognized Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) or biological hotspots that are in need of special water quality protection in order to protect the wildlife and natural ecosystems in these fragile areas.

Do you know someone who is actively implementing new and improved water-friendly landscaping techniques? How about a program that helped solve an existing pollution problem in your community? Our question is whom do you want to see recognized? We do our best at San Diego Coastkeeper to protect and restore fishable, swimmable and drinkable water in San Diego County, and we do our best to keep our eyes and ears open for those doing the same. Sometimes, though, there are programs or individuals that have outstanding success and achievements that we just don’t come across. That is why we want you, our community, to help us get them the recognition they deserve.

We try to vary our nomination categories, so we can get to know as many new programs, individuals, groups and/or companies–– who share our passion––as we can. We want to honor everyone, from big corporations, to the small-town individual doing his or her part. Don’t worry if you don’t think you can hold a stick to bigger companies because every little thing matters. Ever hear of the saying, “it’s the little things that count” or “great things come in small packages?” Well, I believe in these sayings, and I believe some of our awardees this June will prove it. Some of our past recipients include Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Councilwoman Donna Frye, Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, Baja Activist Margarita Diaz, Liquid Environmental Solutions, Regency Centers Corporation, Bruce and Beth Hendershot, Hike Bike Kayak, Mara Bickett and Becky Deller and many more.

There is a reason we hold our Coastal Champions Awards Ceremony in June. In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly designated June 8 as World Oceans Day in order to raise awareness about our oceans and our connection to the sea.  What better time to celebrate our Coastal Champions? Our partner organization, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, has generously agreed to host our Coastal Champion Awards Breakfast on June 4, 2013 in their world-renowned aquarium that overlooks the beautiful La Jolla beach (which just so happens to be one of San Diego’s two Areas of Special Biological Significance). Our breakfast and ceremony will last from 7:30 am to 9:00 am. Our friends at Birch have invited our attendees to stay afterwards and enjoy their wonderful exhibits. Come enjoy breakfast, learn a little about our amazing community, and make a morning out of it.

Reality For a Sixteen-Year-Old

Written by San Diego Coastkeeper

My name is Kirstin Abril Trevino, better known as Kat to most. I am three days into my three-week internship with Jamie Ortiz at San Diego Coastkeeper. I entered this organization with little knowledge about how serious San Diego’s water pollution problem is, even though I have lived in this beautiful city for the past 15 years.kitty1

Like most in this city, I frequently visit the beach. At the beach, I kick back, listen to Pearl Jam, and watch the surfers ride by in the pristine waters of La Jolla. Now that I have learned about the pollution problem, I find that our ineffective stormwater system rather frightening and disappointing.

Pollution affects not just the shops on the waterfront but everyone living in San Diego. I know a large part of San Diego’s economy is based on tourism. There are pretty much two things that bring tourists: Comic-con and our beaches. Trust me, I know how crowded San Diego can be during the summer.  Millions of people flock to our city for these two attractions, and I would think keeping our waters clean would be a top priority for our city.

I’ve been assigned the task of creating videos to show that it isn’t just surfers or beachgoers who are knit-picky about seeing a plastic bag in the water.  Pollution of our waters can cause illness and can financially hurt San Diegans.  Many people aren’t willing to give teenagers such an important task, and I am grateful for this opportunity. I will prove to my mentor and school what I am capable of accomplishing, while bringing awareness to San Diegans about the importance of keeping our waters clean.

Community Advisory Council Targets Youth and Service Learning

Written by San Diego Coastkeeper

In August San Diego Coastkeeper launched its inaugural Community Advisory Council. After a surprising flood of applicants, we selected 10 community members to sit on our first Council in October. Many of you have met them, heard about them and maybe even know them personally. But, I think it’s important to share with everyone what they’ve been up to for the last few months.

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Jesnny Kressel, one of our Community Advisory Council members
Photo Credit Myles McGuinness, 9mphoto.com

I doubt I can appropriately convey how awesome it is to sit in the room when our Council gets together. There is always that fear, when you get a group of complete strangers together, there will be total silence. I am thrilled to report we don’t have that problem. Our Council members are passionate in ways greater than I anticipated. They come with ideas, thoughts, suggestions and thoughtful questions about making our water cleaner, healthier and safer.

Through the fall, the Council unanimously decided to target their efforts on giving back to our communities, focusing on our youth and students and aiming to develop new environmental leaders. The next few months will be filled with planning, development and pooling together their knowledge to make an impact in their own neighborhoods and throughout San Diego.

In the year ahead, we look forward to working with our Council to not only reach the youth of our region, but to form closer connections with community groups. Our Council provides us with a new way to communicate and work beyond our traditional locations.

While we have a great deal of work ahead of us, our Council is proving to be a valuable resource as we move ahead. We are hearing new voices at San Diego Coastkeeper, bringing in a range of experiences, backgrounds and perspectives through each of our 10 members.

What may be most impressive about the Council is their ability to work seamlessly when linked by their goals and interests, even with their vast diversity. As we’re approaching some critical points in San Diego’s water legacy, I am sincerely motivated by our Council. They are a constant reminder that across our communities and neighborhoods we’re not alone in our fight.

A Sustainable Winter Wonderland

Written by San Diego Coastkeeper

What is not to love about the holidays? There are the twinkling lights, festive parties, gifts, fragrant holiday trees, and lots of yummy food. Though being the bearer of bad news is never fun, it must be stated that the fun of the holidays will be over in the blink of an eye, but the toll that the holiday season takes on the environment will stick around much longer. Not to fret, there are plenty of ways to be eco-conscious this year from party planning to gift giving.

Gift Wrap:

  • Reusable Bag –You may have a collection of reusable shopping bags in a variety of shapes and colors. You can also buy new ones just for gift giving, but remember to get ones made locally with organic materials and non-toxic inks. Then put a little thought into how to tie it, secure it with ribbon, or add some special touches to transform it from “just a bag” into a beautiful presentation of your homemade gift.
  • Glass Jars — These can make fun gift carriers because they can be easily decorated.
  • Leftover Newspapers, Magazines and Junk Mail — We all get attacked by at least one of these paper items. It may sound cheap to wrap gifts with these items, but do yourself a favor and conduct a quick google search for wrapping with these items. They can be quite striking.

Eco-conscious gifts:

  • Outdoorsie? If your loved one just LOVES the outdoors, get him or her a cool Selk’bag. Yes, no more sleeping bags when camping as you can sleep and walk in it. And for them to stay cool during the summer, give the evaporative cooling cap to cheat on the heat wave. Plus, for those who like to be on the road to nature a lot, gift them reusable utensils that are both light and eco-friendly.
  • Geek? Any book worm would appreciate the Kindle from Amazon.com. No more wasted paper, piles of books – only more growing trees! Or help your friend or loved one save some energy and gift them a solar– or water-powered clock. There are many varieties out there that tick with nature. And for those into computers, go for a solar keyboard or compact solar charger.

Holiday Planning:

  • Take a trip to your local farmer’s market; we are in California after all. Among other things, one of the most glorious aspects about being a San Diegan is year-round farmers markets. Don’t forget to grab your reusable bag on your way out the door and try building a menu around what’s in season. Talk about a great excuse to be creative and try something new!
  • BYO everything. That’s right, tell your buddies to bring a plate, fork, cup and voilà, no need for single-use plates, utensils or cups. If your party is step up from the casual BBQ, try sustainable options like these.
  • Separate the inevitable waste. Of course, there will be some waste to any event, but planning ahead and providing your guests with the proper receptacles can go a long way. From simple recyclable versus trash, to adding in compost and plastics is a great way to take that extra step to helping out.

Here you have it, a way to enjoy the holidays to the fullest and still take care of the planet. These are just a few ideas, so please leave us a comment if you have other good sustainable ideas for this holiday season.

Today I give thanks. In the San Diego Coastkeeper office hangs a map of San Diego County on which staff, volunteers and community advisory council members are adding push pins to note where we use our beautiful waterways. I added surfing in Encinitas, running around Mission Bay and boating in San Diego Bay this morning. What water tells the story of your life? Come on down to the office or email us and we’ll add your push pin!
 
This is not about push pins, though. It is about a community and a legacy. We can add those pushpins because we protect our waters from runoff pollution in our storm drains, trash on our beaches and climate change everywhere. This is our call to action and I am ready to answer. I am ready because I am not alone.
 
At the Seaside Soiree, more than 100 of our partners, supporters and donors gathered. We raised more than $11,000 to protect our waters.
 
This was made possible thanks to the contributions of our sponsors:
 
Harriet Lazer & Jim Walker
David Welborn & Ann Hunter Welborn
Coast Law Group
Ecology Auto Parts
Liquid Environmental Solutions
Regency Centers Corporation
San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council http://www.unionyes.org/
The Waitt Foundation
Kona Brewing Company
Barefoot Wine & Bubbly https://www.facebook.com/barefootwine
Terra American Bistro http://www.terrasd.com/
 
The many individuals who participated in the prize drawings and art auction or “adopted a crab” with a donation to protect clean water
 
And we have you, our contributing members. Thanks to you, we have clean water to enjoy. You may have not have attended, but you can be a part of this call to action, this coming together to protect what is our right, our responsibility and our legacy. Adopt a crab today through your online donation or call me at 619-758-7743 x103 and tell me what you want to support. I’ll add your push pin myself and send you your crab.Today I give thanks. In the San Diego Coastkeeper office hangs a map of San Diego County on which staff, volunteers and community advisory council members are adding push pins to note where we use our beautiful waterways. I added surfing in Encinitas, running around Mission Bay and boating in San Diego Bay this morning. What water tells the story of your life? Come on down to the office or email us and we’ll add your push pin!
 
This is not about push pins, though. It is about a community and a legacy. We can add those pushpins because we protect our waters from runoff pollution in our storm drains, trash on our beaches and climate change everywhere. This is our call to action and I am ready to answer. I am ready because I am not alone.
 
At the Seaside Soiree, more than 100 of our partners, supporters and donors gathered. We raised more than $11,000 to protect our waters.
 
This was made possible thanks to the contributions of our sponsors:
 
Harriet Lazer & Jim Walker
David Welborn & Ann Hunter Welborn
Coast Law Group
Ecology Auto Parts
Liquid Environmental Solutions
Regency Centers Corporation
San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council http://www.unionyes.org/
The Waitt Foundation
Kona Brewing Company
Barefoot Wine & Bubbly https://www.facebook.com/barefootwine
Terra American Bistro http://www.terrasd.com/
 
The many individuals who participated in the prize drawings and art auction or “adopted a crab” with a donation to protect clean water
 
And we have you, our contributing members. Thanks to you, we have clean water to enjoy. You may have not have attended, but you can be a part of this call to action, this coming together to protect what is our right, our responsibility and our legacy. Adopt a crab today through your online donation or call me at 619-758-7743 x103 and tell me what you want to support. I’ll add your push pin myself and send you your crab.
 
 

Protecting our legacy with push pins

Written by San Diego Coastkeeper
Today I give thanks. In the San Diego Coastkeeper office hangs a map of San Diego County on which staff, volunteers and community advisory council members are adding push pins to note where we use our beautiful waterways. I added surfing in Encinitas, running around Mission Bay and boating in San Diego Bay this morning. What water tells the story of your life? Come on down to the office or email us and we’ll add your push pin!
This is not about push pins, though. It is about a community and a legacy. We can add those pushpins because we protect our waters from runoff pollution in our storm drains, trash on our beaches and climate change everywhere. This is our call to action and I am ready to answer. I am ready because I am not alone.
At the Seaside Soiree, more than 100 of our partners, supporters and donors gathered. We raised more than $11,000 to protect our waters.
This was made possible thanks to the contributions of our sponsors:
Harriet Lazer & Jim Walker
David Welborn & Ann Hunter Welborn
Coast Law Group
Ecology Auto Parts
Liquid Environmental Solutions
Regency Centers Corporation
San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council http://www.unionyes.org/
The Waitt Foundation
Kona Brewing Company
Barefoot Wine & Bubbly https://www.facebook.com/barefootwine
Terra American Bistro http://www.terrasd.com/
The many individuals who participated in the prize drawings and art auction or “adopted a crab” with a donation to protect clean water
And we have you, our contributing members. Thanks to you, we have clean water to enjoy. You may have not have attended, but you can be a part of this call to action, this coming together to protect what is our right, our responsibility and our legacy. Adopt a crab today through your online donation or call me at 619-758-7743 x103 and tell me what you want to support. I’ll add your push pin myself and send you your crab.Today I give thanks. In the San Diego Coastkeeper office hangs a map of San Diego County on which staff, volunteers and community advisory council members are adding push pins to note where we use our beautiful waterways. I added surfing in Encinitas, running around Mission Bay and boating in San Diego Bay this morning. What water tells the story of your life? Come on down to the office or email us and we’ll add your push pin!
This is not about push pins, though. It is about a community and a legacy. We can add those pushpins because we protect our waters from runoff pollution in our storm drains, trash on our beaches and climate change everywhere. This is our call to action and I am ready to answer. I am ready because I am not alone.
At the Seaside Soiree, more than 100 of our partners, supporters and donors gathered. We raised more than $11,000 to protect our waters.
This was made possible thanks to the contributions of our sponsors:
Harriet Lazer & Jim Walker
David Welborn & Ann Hunter Welborn
Coast Law Group
Ecology Auto Parts
Liquid Environmental Solutions
Regency Centers Corporation
San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council http://www.unionyes.org/
The Waitt Foundation
Kona Brewing Company
Barefoot Wine & Bubbly https://www.facebook.com/barefootwine
Terra American Bistro http://www.terrasd.com/
The many individuals who participated in the prize drawings and art auction or “adopted a crab” with a donation to protect clean water
And we have you, our contributing members. Thanks to you, we have clean water to enjoy. You may have not have attended, but you can be a part of this call to action, this coming together to protect what is our right, our responsibility and our legacy. Adopt a crab today through your online donation or call me at 619-758-7743 x103 and tell me what you want to support. I’ll add your push pin myself and send you your crab.

Today I give thanks. In the San Diego Coastkeeper office hangs a map of San Diego County, on which, staff, volunteers and Community Advisory Council membe

Adopt-a-crab

rs are adding push pins to note where we use our beautiful waterways. I added surfing in Encinitas, running around Mission Bay and boating in San Diego Bay this morning. What water tells the story of your life? Come down to the office or email us and we’ll add your push pin!

This is not about push pins though. It is about a community and a legacy. We can swim, kayak, sail and enjoy lakes and lagoons; we can add those pins because we protect our waters from runoff pollution to our storm drains, trash on our beaches and climate change everywhere. This is our call to action, and I am ready to answer. I am ready because I am not alone. This matters to many, many people.

At the Seaside Soiree, more than 100 of our partners, supporters and donors gathered. We raised more than $11,000 to protect our waters.

This was made possible thanks to our sponsors:

Harriet Lazer & Jim Walker

David Welborn & Ann Hunter Welborn

CoastLawGroupEcology_Auto_Parts-logo

 

unionyes_brushLogoliquid

 

Regency-name_only_WEB

 

 

Kona_Liquid_aloha_upWaitt-Foundation

 

Terra-American-BistroFree-flight-logoBarefoot-wine-and-bubbly

 

And many individuals whose donations will protect clean water.

And we have you, our contributing members. Thanks to you, our neighbors have clean water to enjoy. I’m inviting you to be a part of this call to action, this coming together to protect the water that is our right, our responsibility and our legacy. “Adopt a crab” today through your online donation or call me at 619-758-7743 x103 and tell me what you want to support. I’ll add your push pin myself.

 

Five Ways to be Environmentally Conscious this Halloween

Written by San Diego Coastkeeper

Each year, Halloween generates a lot of trash. Whether it’s candy wrappers or spider web decorations, landfills typically take on a scary amount of reusable materials. Here are a few simple suggestions on how you can reduce your footprint this Halloween.

1. Save your decorations

Rather than buy a few new bags of synthetic spider webs each year, why not bunch up all that polyester and toss it in the basement? It lasts for years and years, and it’s easy enough to stretch back out next October. Make sure your decorations stick around, they may become scarier with each year that passes.

2. Use your pumpkin for something more than just carving

Pie? Roasted seeds? Don’t just turn your pumpkin into a Jack O’Lantern, let it feed you, too! Find simple, delicious pumpkin recipes online and become increasingly popular when you roast your neighbors some seeds. And after you’ve gutted your pumpkin and Halloween is over, make sure you compost it instead of tossing it in the trashcan.

3. Thrift store a costume

Still have no idea what you’re going to be for Halloween? Take a trip to Goodwill and get creative. Spend a few minutes walking the isles and something will call out to you. Thrift stores also often carry many kid’s costumes and have large Halloween sections once October hits. You’ll save a ton of money, likely find something unique, and will be giving an old costume a new home. Plus, it’s a great place to donate your costume when you’re done this year.

4. Costume swap

If you couldn’t find anything good at the thrift store, there’s still no reason to go out and buy a new costume. Organize a costume swap on Facebook or through email. List the old costumes that you may have, and encourage your friends to do the same. Chances are you’ll find something that will work for you.

5. Use a pillowcase to collect the goods

Those plastic Jack O’Lantern candy pales are cheaply made and usually crack and end up in landfills. Use a pillowcase instead! Kids can decorate them any way they want, even to match their costume. It will last for years, and can hold a lot more candy than those traditional candy buckets.

These are just a few suggestions. In what ways have you reduced your footprint on Halloween? Tell us in the comments!

Preview! Fine art at the Seaside Soiree

Written by San Diego Coastkeeper

Have you checked your calendar? San Diego Coastkeeper’s 16th annual fundraiser: the Seaside Soiree is right around the corner! Start filling those little piggy banks because this year we will be featuring four amazing artists in our silent auction and for the right price, you can take a piece of them home.

A piece of their art, that is.

We know you put a lot of thought into your home and office decor, so we’re giving you online and gallery options to preview these beautiful pieces.

Abe-and-Myles-art-at-Re-GalleryWell known international nature photographer, Abe Ordover, brings you one of his “ripple” photos (left image at left) to this year’s silent auction. Combining his passion for photography with the power of technology, Abe Ordover’s finished pieces will take your breath away. Interested in an Abe Ordover overload? His Gallery and Studio is conveniently located in Solana Beach, California. And until November 3, you can preview the auction piece, which is hanging at Re-Gallery on Cedros. (Bonus: attend the Soiree and you can also enter to win a personalized photography master class with Abe.) 100% of proceeds benefit San Diego Coastkeeper. [Approximate value: $450]

Renowned local photographer and design guru Myles McGuinness presents a trifecta of surf themed wood prints (right image at left). Myles grew up traveling as a child, always living somewhere near water – either in the form of liquid or snow. He continues that tradition as part of the growing art and culture movement in Oceanside (attend his latest opening on Nov. 3). For someone who lives by the motto, “always go the extra mile,” you can certainly see the extra miles he put into his auction pieces, which you can see at Re-Gallery until November 3. “Sunset Glide” (8″x12″) (to be auctioned at the Seaside Soiree), plus “Terra Mar Glide” (12″x12″) and “Hidden Peak” (12″x12″) have a combined value of $1,100. 100% of proceeds benefit San Diego Coastkeeper.

stone-and-glass-auction-chair

Master glassblower James Stone of Stone and Glass will create a unique hand blown glass chair especially for this event. With all the sea life elements around you, you’ll feel like King Poseidon himself! James Stone combines his ocean-themed art with glass not just for beauty, but for a purpose. He wants people to realize that the ocean and everything in it, is a delicate ecosystem and we need to start treating it with a lot more TLC. What better way to get this issue across than through beautiful glass art… that you can sit on. James’ studio gallery is open to the public at the Bernardo Winery. [retail value: $12,000; opening bid: $8,000; 40-50% of proceeds benefit San Diego Coastkeeper]

Wyland "Dolphin Tribe"

Wyland never fails to delight and inspire. Here in San Diego Wyland Galleries Seaport Village is a magical realm of underwater imagery and sculpture. His whaling walls bring the sea to life in San Diego and Mission Beach. For the Seaside Soiree, Wyland donated a limited edition, signed and numbered lithograph, Dolphin Tribe. You’ll want to frame it and put it up where these playful ocean friends greet you every day. 100% of proceeds benefit San Diego Coastkeeper. [value: $1,210]

With the inspirational art of these four unforgettable artists, the Seaside Soiree is guaranteed to be a hit. So get dressed up, grab a drink, enjoy the ocean and we’ll meet you at the tables.

Our auction tables, of course.

Inquiries about the art can be directed to San Diego Coastkeeper at development@sdcoastkeeper.org or 619-758-7743 x103.

San Diego Coastkeeper 2012 Voter Guide

Written by San Diego Coastkeeper

A number of important issues for San Diegans sit on November’s ballot. Many ballot measures are lengthy, full of jargon and confusing to read. We’ve broken down two different propositions that are important to San Diego Coastkeeper’s mission, and in turn important to our supporters.

Below, you’ll find a list of these ballot measures, and how we suggest you vote on them. Thinking about your choice for candidates? We can’t endorse candidates, but we did create our Platform of Priorities to help you identify the issues on which you should evaluate any leader in our region.

Proposition 31-NO

Prop 31 establishes California’s two-year state budget. It will increase funding to local governments, while decreasing state sales tax revenues of $200 million annually. It also authorizes local governments to alter the application of laws that govern state-funded programs

Coastkeeper suggests that you vote no on this proposition.

This proposition gives California counties the power to alter state regulations related to spending, unless the state legislature vetoes these changes. Local governments could potentially override state laws and regulations that protect both the public and the environment.

Proposition 37-YES

Prop 37 requires that food sold with genetically modified animal or plant materials be labeled as such. In addition, it prohibits marketing this kind of food, or any processed food, as “natural.”

Coastkeeper suggests that you vote yes on this proposition.

Knowing what goes into the food you eat is important for many reasons. A yes vote gives you important information about genetically modified ingredients, which could include farmed fish. Over 40 countries already require labels for genetically modified foods; it’s time our state does.

Proposition 39-YES

Prop 39 requires multistate businesses to pay income taxes based on their percentage of sales in California. It then dedicates this revenue to clean/efficient energy projects for the next five years.

Coastkeeper suggests that you vote yes on this proposition.

This initiative creates green jobs. It’s that simple. It dedicates approximately $550 million annually for the next five years to projects that create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs in our state. It will be a boom for environmentalists, and it will make sure our state continues to be a leader in clean energy.

Candidates: Coastkeeper’s Platform of Priorities for Leadership in San Diego County

When voting for our next mayor and other leaders, it’s important you choose a candidate in line with our Platform of Priorities for Leadership in San Diego County. The Platform of Priorities contains the issues in San Diego County that matter to people who love our water.

San Diego Coastkeeper asks the next mayor and other leaders to adhere to this water platform:

Water Supply

  • Maximize indirect potable reuse as a secure, reliable water source for San Diego. Hyper-treating our wastewater is an effective and efficient way to increase local water supplies while reducing the cost to meet Clean Water Act standards at the Point Loma sewage treatment facility.
  • Adopt policies to maximize conservation. The City should encourage water conservation through the following programs: adopting a tiered water pricing system, installing real-time water meters to allow residents to track water usage, offering incentives for residents to upgrade toilets and washers to low-water usage, and offering incentives for residents to install low-water landscaping.

Sewage

  • Move away from the Clean Water Act waiver for the Point Loma sewage treatment plant. The next mayor needs to demonstrate leadership to bring the Point Loma facility up to minimum sewage treatment standards mandated by the Clean Water Act decades ago. San Diego is the only city left in California continuing to seek waivers from water quality standards.
  • Allocate enough resources to properly maintain the City’s sewage collection system. The City of San Diego has drastically reduced the volume and frequency of sewage spills by maintaining and upgrading its sewage collection system after San Diego Coastkeeper filed suit. The City must continue to invest in its sewage infrastructure to maintain progress the City has made in reducing sewage spills.

Marine Debris

  • Adopt a single-use plastic bag ban. Marine debris is not only an eyesore for visitors and residents using San Diego’s beaches, but it also harms wildlife. The next mayor should take aggressive steps to reduce plastic usage in the City, as plastic significantly contributes to our local marine debris problem. The next mayor should adopt a single-use plastic bag ban in the City of San Diego.

Community Involvement and Partnerships

  • Increase transparency related to environmental issues. Recently, the mayor’s office and City staff have proposed programs and policies that cut the public out of the City’s decision-making process. The next mayor must reverse this trend, encouraging public participation in all decision-making, especially decisions about the environment. The next mayor should also adopt policies that increase transparency, such as making the City’s stormwater pollution hotline complaints and resolution publicly available (keeping reporting individuals anonymous).
  • Work collaboratively with local environmental groups to ensure that our local natural resources are protected. Local community groups, like San Diego Coastkeeper, have expertise and volunteer resources that can help the City of San Diego achieve its water quality goals faster and cheaper than it could on its own. The next mayor should embrace local groups as valuable partners.

Coastkeeper Wins Two Bernays Awards

Written by San Diego Coastkeeper

Bernays_San_DiegoIt starts like a bad joke—a lawyer, a scientist and writer walk into a room.

But that’s where it turns good. They put their heads together, strategically align their communications with their programs, and they win awards.

Last week, Public Relations Society of America San Diego and Imperial Counties honored San Diego Coastkeeper with two awards for our communications.

Our team won a Bronze Edward L Bernays Award of Excellence for our blog and a Silver Edward L Bernays Award for our crisis communication response to last year’s sewage spill. Both are the top honors in each category.

That’s no joke.

Along with Yana Titova, a long-term communications volunteer who coordinated so much of the work that lead to these awards, I attended the evening event packed full of the region’s most talented public relations agencies and in-house teams from organizations like the San Diego County Water Authority and City of San Diego.

Little ole us. A one-person department depending on a rockstar volunteer and thoughtful writing and expertise from program staff and organizational leadership. Little ole us with zero budget and no expert agency on hand to help. We won.

Like so much of our work at San Diego Coastkeeper, it is just us. Our Waterkeeper Jill Witkowski is often the sole voice at the Regional Board asking for more effective controls to stop urban runoff from polluting our waves. Our Water Quality Lab Manager Travis Pritchard is one person running a volunteer-driven countywide water quality testing program to help the region understand what pollution damages our waters. It’s Jill that is the one person commenting on the San Diego Bay Cleanup Team’s poor communications plan because the communities that will be impacted by the massive cleanup deserve an effective strategy.

And you know what? We like those odds.

We’re small and nimble. We’re creative and connected. We’re dedicated to protecting and restoring fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters for every resident and visitor in San Diego County. And we know that one voice isn’t really just one voice. Our voice is the megaphone for each of you—our volunteers, our supporters, our members and the families and workers in San Diego County that rely on clean waters to live happy, healthy lifestyles.

A scientist, a lawyer and writer walk into a room. And they bring with them thousands of San Diegans each wanting fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters. And they get results.

It’s not a joke at all.

Not a part of our movement yet? Become a member today.

 

 

 

A Message from Megan

Written by San Diego Coastkeeper

wateradvocacyThe conversation about water just got better.

Last week our application period for the Community Advisory Council ended.

I knew that we’d get a lot of applications. I just had no idea that we’d get so many.

It shows how much San Diegans care about their water. You recognize the importance of clean water. You want to protect it and make sure it’s fishable, swimmable and drinkable for your children, and your children’s children.

It shows that protecting our area’s watersheds and providing a clean local source of drinking water is doable.

Because you want to be the ones to do it.

When we build community, everyone has a role and a responsibility. Coastkeeper plays a huge role, both as a giver of information and a keeper of clean waters. But we need your voice, too.

We need to know what is going on in your neighborhood. And what matters most to you. The response to the Community Advisory Council shows me that so many of you have something to say and are willing to act.

I have a big vision for the Community Advisory Council. The members of this group will be a voice for our neighborhoods and a face for water issues among their neighbors. Nothing will slip through the cracks because you’ll make sure we know about it.

We’ll give you tools and you’ll come up with solutions.

In August, Coastkeeper teamed up with Power Scuba for a beach and underwater cleanup. The dive club members came from North Park, Chula Vista, Camp Pendleton and more. They came together to deal with the trash they see underwater. That was their biggest concern. What’s yours?

We know that in Lemon Grove the answer is different than in La Jolla. And people in Santee use the water differently than in Fallbrook. When Waterkeeper Jill Witkowski created this council she made it possible to hear a voice from every corner of San Diego County.

The Community Advisory Council is our community voice. It is a place to join forces to protect our waters for San Diego to do all the things we love.

I know that we can succeed. Because of you, I know that fishable, swimmable, drinkable…is doable.

Thank you to everybody who applied. I am excited to begin this journey with you.