On my first day as an intern at San Diego Coastkeeper, I was given the honor to ride in the Coastkeeper boat. Along with seeing sealions and dolphins on a sunny San Diego day, I also learned what it means to be a volunteer boat captain. Coastkeeper’s main boat captain’s name is Chris, he was once a dive boat captain and has a 100-ton captain’s license (also called a Master’s license). He began volunteering at Coastkeeper through the outreach program because he wanted to learn how to become a “modern” boater. For example, he cleans the Coastkeeper boat using only a gallon of water. Whereas the non-modern ways to clean a boat include washing a boat with the chemical-based cleaners that get into the water, as well as using more water than necessary.
Chris takes the boat out at least once a week around San Diego Bay. He watches for commercial abandonment of polluting laws and makes sure big businesses use Best Practices and cause no harm to the bay and its wildlife. Sadly, San Diego Bay has a greater chance of having pollution because it is a working and military bay… and a tourist hot spot. But having San Diego Coastkeeper and captain Chris watching over the bay, makes sure the pollution doesn’t get over board.