Every business and every worker in San Diego needs a clean, realiable water supply to thrive. That's why we take our corporate sponsorships very seriously. If you're looking to integrate your brand into an environmental event or find a local cause to rally with, we've got creative ideas, myriad opportunities and responsive followers. Learn more about sponsoring San Diego Coastkeeper.
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We heart our volunteers, who keep us motivated and expand our capacity to protect and restore fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters in San Diego County. Let us know how you'd like to volunteer.
Expand your scholastic experience or challenge your professional side with an internship in the environmental field. From water quality monitoring and beach cleanups to communciations and development, we have internships available for all skill sets.
Until October 30, Jack Johnson will double up to $2,500 donated to San Diego Coastkeeper. Double your donation today.
It was a challenge, but we narrowed our list of accomplishments to these ten jaw-dropping environmental victories in San Diego County. We've got more wins on the horizon, so make sure you become a member to be a part of our successes.
Click on the image to download our new informational brochure.
As I head into the last week of my time here at San Diego Coastkeeper, it's a perfect moment to wax poetic about all we accomplished during that time. I was hired by the organization because of my environmental litigation skills, but I believe the most significant progress I made during my time here was to help set a tone of collaborating with traditional and non-traditional partners to help us achieve the greatest possible environmental gains.
It used to be that the Building Industry Association was the sworn enemy of our organization. But a year and a half ago, I said something very important to Michael McSweeney, the BIA's Senior Public Policy Advisor. I said, "Help me understand. I'm not a builder; I'm not a developer. I think this stormwater permit is great, but you have serious concerns about it. Help me understand your point of view so we can build a permit that works." We set up a meeting and talked. But more importantly, we listened to each other. Not just listened to rebut—like we lawyers are taught to do—but listened to understand. And through that understanding we built trust and were able to find areas where we actually agreed.
In January 2013, we submitted a joint comment letter to the Regional Water Quality Control Board about the municipal stormwater permit. The letter wasn't long, but it represented that two groups, who were previously opposed on pretty much everything, had found common ground and agreed on some ways to improve the permit. That letter was a huge victory for both organizations, and I believed it helped make the stormwater permit better. As Coastkeeper works to help implement the new stormwater permit, BIA will remain an important partner to achieve real improvements in water quality.
My work with BIA is just another example of how Coastkeeper has facilitated bringing people together over the years, a different version of Bruce Reznik's work to help create the Water Reliability Coalition, to bring together environmental, business, and labor groups over critical water supply issues. Indeed, over the past few years the organization has built relationships with unconventional partners like SeaWorld, the Port Tenants' Association, and the Industrial Environmental Association. I know that the Coastkeeper board of directors and staff will continue this work to find common ground where possible.
Perhaps the hardest-fought victory we achieved during my time at Coastkeeper was the Regional Board's adoption of the Shipyards Sediment Cleanup and Abatement Order. The cleanup was my first assignment, and the work was exhausting. When the Regional Board adopted the order in March 2012, I thought our work was done. But then I spent months working with the environmental managers from NASSCO and BAE to finalize the Remedial Action Plan and community engagement plan. I thought victory was in hand as the September 17 dredging deadline approached, but infighting between the responsible parties about who pays for what means that I may leave San Diego before seeing the dredging actually start. Still, the fact that the cleanup is imminent is a huge victory for San Diego Coastkeeper and San Diego Bay.
In addition to the stormwater permit, the Shipyard Sediment cleanup, and building new relationships, I'm also very proud of the work we've done to provide comments on projects like the Navy Fuel Pier replacement, Gregory Canyon Landfill, the San Diego storm channel clearing project, the Castlerock development, and the Brown Field Municipal airport project. By reviewing and commenting on these projects, we have helped make them better. And in reviewing those projects, we've provided great opportunities for law students to get their hands dirty in environmental law and make a difference even before earning their law degree. The same can be said for our involvement with decisions by the Regional Board.
We've also made significant headway on water supply issues, and I was very happy to have been a part of planning and discussions like the Recycled Water Study and the City of San Diego Long Range Water Plan that will lead us to a more reliable, sustainable water supply.
I'm grateful to have been a part of this community for nearly four years and am proud to have worked for fishable, swimmable, drinkable San Diego waters. I look forward to watching San Diego Coastkeeper as the organization remains a leader in San Diego's journey towards clean water.
Attention, San Diego! Do you like fishable, swimmable, drinkable water? What about craft beer? All-natural foods? Local businesses?
We're hoping most of you are shouting, "Yes!" when you read these questions. We certainly do, and cordially invite you to participate in our Facebook contest to win a spot at Delectable: A Barons Market Taste for Coastkeeper on the evening of Tuesday, October 8, at Barons Market in Point Loma. Or, as we like to call it, an evening that combines all of our favorite things.
If you're not familiar with Barons Market, you should be. This local family-owned grocery store carries simply good food at simply good prices. We also like that Barons Market prioritizes local vendors, including its beer selection, which brings us to Coronado Brewing Company, and our Facebook contest.
On Tuesday, October 8, at 6 p.m., five lucky winners and their friends will enjoy four craft brews from Coronado Brewing Company accompanied by four all-natural dishes from Barons Market. Guests' feedback will help Coastkeeper and Barons Market finalize the tasting menu for a private event on October 22 that will go in depth on challenges to clean water in San Diego County.
You have two chances to win one of our five coveted tasting spots – and all it takes is two Facebook comments.
HERE'S HOW TO WIN
● Visit San Diego Coastkeeper on Facebook and comment on our cover photo with what you're doing to reduce your water pollution.
● Visit Barons Market Facebook page and comment on its cover photo with your favorite beer and food combination, and why.
Five creative winners and their lucky guests will earn tickets to enjoy a free evening of some of San Diego's finest beer and all-natural foods with the folks at San Diego Coastkeeper and Barons Market.
Winners will be contacted on Friday, October 4. Comment away, share with your friends and thank you for supporting San Diego Coastkeeper!
Protecting and restoring fishable, swimmable, drinkable San Diego waters. That's San Diego Coastkeeper's mission. Our mission echoes the goals of the Clean Water Act, which aims to protect all waters for all people--not just for the rich or the powerful.
Too often environmental protection is the privilege of select communities, not the masses. The Clean Water Act and other environmental laws are more likely enforced in wealthy communities that can afford lawyers, while socio-economically disadvantaged communities and communities of color bear a disproportionate burden of environmental harm. I saw this pattern play time and again as an attorney in New Orleans with the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, and I see it continue in San Diego.
To more effectively fight inequality and strive for clean water for all of us, I've been fortunate enough to be invited to participate in a national conversation about environmental justice. This spring, I was invited to join a U.S. EPA-sponsored work group to address ways to build community resiliency in industrial waterfront communities. Over the past several months, I joined work group calls with environmental justice advocates, government officials, business representatives and academics to share threats that industrial waterfront communities in San Diego face and brainstorm solutions to build resiliency in these communities. In particular, we've discussed threats from sea level rise and storm surge and discussed ways that EPA can work with local governments to avoid and minimize harm to industrial waterfront communities.
Last week, U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy appointed me to a three-year term on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. The council comprises various stakeholders involved in the environmental justice dialogue and provides advice to the EPA on environmental justice issues. As the first Waterkeeper to be appointed to the council, I'm honored to share my experiences from San Diego and New Orleans and to bring attention to environmental justice issues that my fellow Waterkeepers around the country struggle with. With many environmental issues-- air pollution, hazardous waste, and energy--connected to and impacting our water quality, my participation on the council allows San Diego Coastkeeper to have a broader reach to protect San Diego's waters.
I hope that my participation in the national environmental justice dialogue moves us closer to fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters for all San Diegans.
Did you read our Annual Report?
If so, we hope you enjoyed it- and if you are still wondering how you can get involved with Coastkeeper this year, look no further. Starting this fall, Coastkeeper will launch two new volunteer programs complete with training dates, as well as flexible scheduling: Inland Trash Assessment and MPA Watch.
Inland Trash Assessment
Memorial Day is fast approaching and on Memorial Day weekend, we will have an influx of trash on our beaches. Here is a list of ten things you can do to reduce the amount of trash during Memorial Day weekend:
- Stay away from plastic bags! Instead of using plastic bags to bring your snacks, use reusable bags and containers.
- Bring a trash bag with you to make sure you throw everything away; that way trash won’t be buried in the sand throughout the day or left when you leave.
- If you are walking along the beach and see trash or cans/bottles, safely pick them up and throw them away.
- Make a game with your friends and family on who can gather the most cans. Whoever wins, gets to keep the money when you cash them in!
- Switch over to reusable water bottles, instead of single-use plastic bottles (this can make a huge difference each day).
- Instead of making this weekend focused around eating and drinking, make it about socializing and physical activity. Play some Frisbee!
- If you are allowed to have bonfires at the beach, refrain from burning your trash, especially plastics. Also, make sure the fire is fully out before you leave.
- If you have pets, pick up after them, so nobody will experience stepping in something other than sand.
- Don’t smoke! Cigarette butts are the leading pollutant on our beaches and there are many negative effects that come from the cigarettes in our water. If you have the urge to smoke, be sure to dispose of the entire cigarette butt appropriately.
- Encourage others you know to use these tips and to do their part in keeping our beaches clean this Memorial Day weekend.
I offer you one word to sum up Coastkeeper in 2012: Invaluable.
There should be nothing controversial about clean, plentiful water. But we have taken this resource too much for granted, and fixing our water-related problems has posed many challenges. For 18 years, San Diego Coastkeeper has taken up those challenges, proving itself an indefatigable watchdog and defender of San Diego’s waters.
In 2012 we upheld our commitment to our core mission of protecting and restoring fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters. And we developed new partnerships in a collaborative community-based spirit to better help us preserve and enhance our precious natural resources.
Sound invaluable? It is. It’s San Diego Coastkeeper. And it’s made up of an inspired and inspiring staff; a remarkable group of talented volunteers; a host of dedicated sponsors and members and a board of directors that is second to none in its spirit, commitment and skill.
I invite you to read our online recap of Coastkeeper’s top ten accomplishments for 2012. We proudly reflect on our first Community Advisory Council, our partnership with UCSD’s Global TIES program, our co-leadership of San Diego’s Water Reliability Coalition, our trainings to help educators teach environmental science to children, and much, much more.
Thank you for your continued support of fishable, swimmable, and drinkable waters in San Diego County.
President Board of Directors
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.
Funding for this project has been provided in full or in part through an agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board as well as generous contributions from host Birch Aquarium at Scripps and artists James Stone of Stone and Glass.
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.
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.
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.
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.