Bruce and Beth Hendershot are rockstars. The dynamic duo makes up half of our Lower Escondido Creek water monitoring team, a group of four individuals who met through our Water Quality Monitoring program and decided to adopt the entire Lower Escondido Creek region. Every month, the Hendershots get together to brave dense foliage, the elements and all kinds of insects to bring us water samples to analyze in the lab. You can feel their energy in the air when the Hendershots stop by the office to pick up kits. They are model volunteers – coordinating kit pick-ups and drop-offs with their team and going above and beyond to provide high-quality usable data to the program.
In 2014, Bruce and Beth collectively gave 80 hours – two full weeks of their time – to the Water Quality Monitoring program. In 2013 the duo received the Volunteer of the Year award at Coastkeeper’s Coastal Champion Awards. We got a chance to talk with them about their experience with San Diego Coastkeeper. Here’s what they said:
K: How did you first hear about Water Quality Monitoring, and why did you decide to join the program?
H: We heard about Coastkeeper Water Quality Monitoring through my Surfrider membership-years ago. We worked on their Blue Water Task Force. They pointed us to you!
K: You are both so committed. What keeps you coming back to the program month after month?
H: First of all, we choose to stay involved month after month because we believe that the Water Quality Monitoring program is vitally important, worthwhile, produces critical results that can guide policy and citizen behavior, and is desperately needed for the health of our local water supply & environment. Second, we admire and enjoy the Coastkeeper team and other volunteers. We have learned so much through our participation in various Coastkeeper activities. We cherish the long, lasting friendships that have resulted from our work with Coastkeeper. (And…we like our “playtime” with all of you, too!)
K: What does clean water mean to you? Why do you think it is an important goal for our city and region?
H: It is not just an important goal…it is a MUST – and absolute requirement for our city, region and boundaries far beyond! Clean water impacts the health, wellbeing and future of us all – people, animals, habitats, the entire environment, businesses, etc. It is the responsibility of us all – personally & collectively.
K: What do you do when you are not out collecting samples for San Diego Coastkeeper (jobs, hobbies, interests, etc)?
H: We are both retired, but are often busier than when we were both working full-time! Activities include mountain biking, hiking, camping, rollerblading, kayaking, scuba diving, traveling, computer projects, charity projects & other volunteering, and beach cleanups are at the top of our list.
K: We are so humbled by all that we have gained from your help in the program, but what, if anything, do you feel you have gained from participating as volunteers?
H: It is Bruce and I who are humbled & grateful for the privilege and opportunity to work with the Coastkeeper team! The work you do is extremely important and becomes more so as we continue to learn new things about the diversity of work you do. We’ve gained a better understanding of our local water system –the natural & man-made components. We see how the water cycle is interdependent & impacted by seemingly minuscule and blatantly large factors. We are alarmed by the local pollution –up and down our watershed (especially the pollution which could be prevented). We’ve gained a better understanding of the chemistry of clean and polluted water, the effect of weather patterns, human activity, etc. And, we have changed the way we do things in our own life, home, outdoor activities, time with friends, etc. based on what we have learned during our time with Coastkeeper!
We love the Hendershots.