Environmental Donor Spotlight: Why We Support San Diego’s Clean Water

Written by Stephanie Ritter


Eleanor Musick, a past San Diego Coastkeeper board member, and Abe Ordover are some of our favorite San Diego Coastkeeper donors. We sat with them to talk about why they love fishable, swimmable, drinkable water and what drives them to make a difference.

How did you first get involved with San Diego Coastkeeper?

I was part of Athena San Diego – a nonprofit organization that promotes professional growth for women in STEM-related industries – and was taking a course about nonprofits’ board of directors. Jo Brooks, San Diego Coastkeeper’s past board president, sent an email to Athena San Diego about an opening on the board of directors. Abe was already a member of San Diego Coastkeeper, and I knew a previous executive director from the community. I was very excited about joining as a board member.

What excites you most about Coastkeeper?

I am really impressed with the dedication of the staff and board. I love the mission of San Diego Coastkeeper and how the organization combines legal methods with science and education to protect our waters.

What motivated you to start giving to us?

San Diego Coastkeeper is a worthy organization for our support.

What do you wish more people knew about San Diego Coastkeeper?

The great impacts that San Diego Coastkeeper has accomplished over the past 21 years. A few years ago, there was a sediment pollution problem in Encinitas, and it affected my own backyard. I called San Diego Coastkeeper to report the pollution and the staff just ran with it and contacted the appropriate people to stop the pollution. The Water Board acted quickly because Coastkeeper was involved and there was a huge fine for the City of Encinitas. I felt really supported by the staff of San Diego Coastkeeper and, since it was literally in my own backyard, there was a personal interest to stop the pollution and take action… and that is what Coastkeeper did, took action. This example demonstrates the respect that Coastkeeper has and the impact the small organization has in the community.

What outdoor activities do you and Abe like to do when you’re not busy serving your community as board members and donors?

Abe loves to take photographs of nature. I like to paddle board in the ocean and sit near the kelp beds and watch the little critters go by. My goal when I paddle board is to get out and be in the water. Unfortunately, I am always putting trash on my board that I find in the ocean. My general attitude is that if I see trash, I pick it up. I also love to whale watch. I have a telescope that I use to watch the migrating whales.

Fireworks over Water

Written by San Diego Coastkeeper

fireworks over water san diego

Fireworks Over Water: We understand the historic nature of and the public’s fondness for fireworks displays and want to ensure those displays occur in a way that doesn’t compromise water quality. 


San Diego Coastkeeper understands that fireworks displays are a time honored tradition often used to celebrate such holidays as New Year Eve and the Fourth of July.  San Diego Coastkeeper does not want to see fireworks displays end but rather wants to ensure that displays are not a danger to water quality by requiring that they are conducted in appropriate areas and in a manner consistent with existing laws.1 San Diego Coastkeeper supports a permitting process for all fireworks displays which occur over, or adjacent to, surface waters.  Such a permit must cover small and large displays in all locations whether they are used once or multiple times a year.  A robust water quality monitoring program is also crucial to a useful permit and will provide data to quantify the effects fireworks shows have on our environment.  Our goal is to see the tradition of fireworks shows continue in a responsible way which will not pollute our regional waters.

Please down the complete PDF of our position on fireworks in San Diego.

1Areas that would not be considered appropriate include, but are not limited to, ecologically sensitive areas such as Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS), ecological preserves, or sensitive nesting locations.

Seals at Children’s Pool

Written by San Diego Coastkeeper

Focas en La Jolla

Seals at Children’s Pool: A jewel along the La Jolla coastline, Children’s Pool at Casa Beach attracts both human beachgoers and a harbor seal colony, a somewhat contentious gathering. 

SUMMARY (updated Nov 9, 2015)

Since 2004, Coastkeeper has been engaged with groups and individuals who are involved in the efforts to secure a safe environment for the seals at Children’s Pool at Casa Beach through temporary closure of the beach and possible designation as a marine mammal park. Coastkeeper respectfully offers the following positions regarding the harbor seal rookery and haul-out at Casa Beach:

Coastkeeper supports the protection of the harbor seals in the following manners:

  1. We support the Coastal Commission’s approval of the beach closure during pupping season (Dec 15- May 15) and the subsequent amendment to the San Diego Municipal Code (§63.0102(e)(2)) in order to allow the seals to birth and nurse their pups without disturbance. 
      1. We support prohibiting people from accessing the beach during this limited period as it is in the best interest of the people and the seals to allow the seals to remain undisturbed during this sensitive time. Female harbor seals can become aggressive if they feel that their pups are being threatened. Additionally, human interaction with the pups at this stage can cause seals to be separated from their mothers and become abandoned.
  2. We encourage vigorous enforcement of this municipal code ordinance as well as the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 which prevents the hunting, harassing, capture, or killing or any marine mammal, or attempt to do so. (16 U.S.C. 1362)
  3. We support the decision to permanently install the guideline rope and signage discouraging visitors from getting too close to the seals. The rope is meant to act as a buffer between humans and the seals on the beach. Coastkeeper also encourages visitors to stay behind the yellow guideline ropes.
  4. We support the municipal code provision that prohibits dogs on the beach. ((§63.0102(e)(1)).