Table of Contents

A Note From Leadership

Dear Supporter,

As we entered 2021 in the midst of an enduring global health crisis, the San Diego Coastkeeper team leaned into the strength and comfort of turning toward one another and finding solace in community.

Time and again, we were filled with joy and pride as we watched our team continue to adapt to an uncertain world and rise to meet challenges with creativity, and dedication, and togetherness. We gathered at our favorite local beaches when it was safe to do so, celebrated our wins big and small, and just about perfected our transition from a wholly in-person organization to one able to thrive in a newly virtual world. Throughout it all, we cultivated a greater sense of community and recognized that we grow more resilient together.

This inspiration helped fuel a reimagining of community science. Last year, we launched a one-of-a-kind youth environmental education, outdoor recreation, and workforce training program engaging Black, Indigenous, and People of Color high school students. With the help and support of our partners, Groundwork San Diego – Chollas Creek and Outdoor Outreach, we committed to increasing environmental literacy, overcoming equity barriers to ecological stewardship and environmental science careers, and providing real-world science and advocacy experiences.

We also gathered our community around a common cause and raised our voices in unison. Over the summer, we developed and hosted the Clean Water Activists training program. This four-part workshop series taught volunteers and members to engage with clean water issues in San Diego County. Participants learned about the legal mechanisms of advocacy, how to engage with with elected officials, and how to provide effective public comment. This effort resulted in an outpouring of public comments supporting stormwater and climate-friendly green infrastructure funding before the San Diego City Council. We are inspired by the success of this program, and will continue to train the future keepers of our waters.

Last but not least, we saw years of research, dogged advocacy, and legal action culminate in the historic groundbreaking for construction of Phase 1 of Pure Water San Diego. This initial phase will bring 30 million gallons per day of safe, clean, sustainable water to San Diegans by 2023. All told, Pure Water San Diego will provide nearly 50 percent of San Diego’s water supply locally by the end of 2035. The project offers a cost-effective and climate-resilient investment in meeting San Diego’s water needs while reducing polluted discharges into the ocean.

We are again honored and grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this team and this important movement throughout our San Diego communities in 2021. We thank you for your support, without which our vital work would not be possible.

For our waters,

Matt O'Malley
Executive Director & Managing Attorney
Cindy Lin
Board President

Program Highlights

Clean Water Activists


Over the summer, we launched our brand new Clean Water Activists program, a four-part workshop series training volunteers and members to play an active role in clean water issues in San Diego County. Participants learned about the legal mechanisms of advocacy, how to engage with elected officials, and how to write and deliver powerful public comments. This effort resulted in over 57 public comments supporting stormwater infrastructure funding during a key City Council meeting.

"I also really appreciate hearing the interest from the members of the public who called in today. This was a wonderful surprise and I thank you for the written comments. I especially want to thank Matt O'Malley and Lucero Sanchez from Coastkeeper. We heard from San Diego 350, the Audubon Society, Climate Action Campaign, Unite Here, Building Trades, students, scientists, and others and I thank everyone for calling in and helping push the City to do better. It's really great to see a labor and environmental coalition around this issue…. and it's great to see how many members of the public are paying attention to stormwater."
Marni Von Wilpert
City Councilmember


We produced the first of a series of three virtual events in partnership with Think Blue San Diego in September. The Green Infrastructure 101 workshop highlighted the multi-benefit stormwater infrastructure solutions and projects. The webinar featured interactive polls throughout the presentation, an engaged Q&A section, and received positive public feedback.

virtual and in-person event attendees


In September, we hosted our third Ride the Tide event in partnership with San Diego Sustainable Living Institute and CatchingH2O. Over fifty community members and local environmental leaders, including Councilmember Joe LaCava, joined us on a tour of five homes in the UTC area that exemplify water harvesting and greywater reuse to reduce their environmental footprint. Together, we biked six miles and learned the importance of improving water supply and climate resiliency at the individual and regional levels. The event ended with a neighborhood cleanup to celebrate California Coastal Cleanup Day.


In early October, a broken pipeline off the Orange County coast spilled 25,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean. The slick quickly spread across over 8,000 acres of the ocean surface and deposited tar onto beaches along much of the Southern California coast. Working quickly with our partners at Surfrider Foundation San Diego, we assembled a comprehensive list of updates and resources to provide vital information to those concerned about the oil spill and its impacts on our sensitive coastal ecosystem.

student engagements


To tackle the challenges of a shifting school year, our education team responded with creativity and flexibility. In partnership with Think Blue San Diego, we launched a full suite of Project SWELL online modules for Kindergarten through sixth-grade classrooms in San Diego Unified School District. Each comprehensive grade-level module includes a curriculum aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, complete with videos, hands-on activities, and interactive learning experiences in a digital format. The program teaches students the foundations of water and climate science and encourages them to build stronger community connections and better understand their local watersheds.


Our education team headed back into the classroom for in-person lessons during the summer in partnership with the Elementary Institute of Science. We engaged with fourth-graders through a series of five interactions, teaching them about marine and freshwater and environmental science. Students took a deep dive into watershed dynamics, marine debris, water habitats, weather and climate, and water conservation.


In August, we joined the official construction kickoff for Phase 1 of San Diego’s groundbreaking Pure Water project. Phase 1 will bring 30 million gallons per day of safe, clean, sustainable water to San Diegans by 2023. In 2015, after years of research, dogged advocacy, and legal action, we, along with our environmental partners at Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation, Surfrider Foundation San Diego, and San Diego Audubon Society, signed a cooperative agreement with the City of San Diego obligating the City to implement the region’s largest infrastructure project, this first-of-its-kind, large-scale wastewater recycling project. Pure Water San Diego will provide 83 million gallons per day of the City’s potable water supply by 2035 50 percent of the current drinking water needs bolstering regional climate resilience and significantly reducing polluted discharges into the ocean.


We continued work on one of our most notable Clean Water Act enforcement cases to date throughout the year. This important enforcement action, originally initiated in 2020, is part of our efforts to hold the County of San Diego accountable for long-term, egregious polluting of San Diego waters and communities. The case results from years of collecting and analyzing water samples, conducting deep dives, and investigating the County’s insufficient stormwater and wastewater management practices. As with all our Clean Water Act enforcement cases, our ultimate goal is to ensure polluting entities comply with the law and make meaningful progress toward adopting multi-benefit solutions that contribute to a cleaner, more equitable future. We hit a key milestone in 2021 when, after much negotiation, we finalized an agreement with the County for the first settlement phase, outlining clean water solutions to come.

items of trash removed


Although in-person events were hard to plan for and host again in 2021, we continued to connect volunteers with service opportunities through our self-guided community cleanup program, the Six Cleanup Challenge. Through this program, volunteers removed harmful trash and litter from local neighborhoods, parks, and beaches. The drive, dedication, and enthusiasm our volunteers display during these cleanups are unmatched, and we are incredibly inspired and grateful for our volunteer support.


Over the summer, we partnered with the National Student Leadership Conference to create a multi-faceted event with robust watershed education discussions, water quality monitoring demonstrations, and hands-on environmental stewardship activities. Students learned about San Diego’s various environmental issues, including habitat degradation. We connected the harmful impacts of trash and litter to the health of our communities and watersheds, provided pollution reduction strategies and tips on changing behaviors, and highlighted the importance of coastal and marine protection strategies, such as local marine protected areas.

community scientists trained


We hosted a handful of events teaching local groups and organizations how to monitor the health of San Diego’s waterways. We provided our expert knowledge through these events, offered hands-on science training, and taught water quality monitoring techniques and equipment use.

In February, we trained a team of 10 restoration technicians from San Diego Canyonlands in preparation for a large canyon restoration project. We helped Canyonlands establish a baseline of environmental health to better measure the success of their work.


In partnership with Groundwork San Diego – Chollas Creek and Outdoor Outreach, we launched a new year-long environmental science, workforce development, and outdoor recreation program engaging a cohort of 13 Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) high school students from the communities adjacent to Chollas Creek. The program addresses equity barriers in environmental stewardship, increases science literacy, provides real-world experiences, and creates a pathway to build workforce development skills and explore environmental careers.


2021 Revenue

Foundation Grants$339,891
Government Grants$277,028
Legal Income$142,336
Corporate Giving$68,972

2021 Expenses

Management and General$42,995

Funders and Donors

Cathy Stiefel and Keith Behner

City of San Diego

Coast Law Group

Marisla Foundation

Resources Legacy Fund Land – Sea Connection program made possible by the Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment

The San Diego Foundation

Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation

David Welborn and Ann Hunter-Welborn

Dr. Seuss Foundation

Environment Now

The Parker Foundation

Casa Familiar

County of San Diego

Hunter Industries

MUFG Union Bank Foundation


Bryce Kroha and Sierra Visher Kroha

Corona Beer

David Fox and Lydia Thompson

Kirei USA

Mike and Susanna Flaster

Mira Ko

Sand Cloud

The Hervey Family




BAE Systems

Ballast Point

Bruce and Betsy Gill

Bryan Stevens

Carole and Jerry Turk


First Church of the Nazarene

ISEC San Diego Region

Joe and Tori Callahan

John and Chris Fikes in honor of Ray Perkins

Las Patronas

Lee Duran


Miller Hull

National Student Leadership Foundation

Northrop Grumman

Patricia Meagher and David Ritter

Price Philanthropies Foundation

Qualcomm Foundation

Responsible Solutions

Robert and Allison Price

Schmidt Design Group

Seismic Software

SIMA Environmental Fund

Spurlock Landscape Architects

Susie Armstrong

Tershia d’Elgin

The Samuel I. & John Henry The Fox Foundation

Tim Del Monte

Amazon Smile

Annie Shatley


Bill Fletcher

Bruce Reznik

Christy Villa

Emma Sakson in memory of Kenny Rivers

Eric and Shannon Vajda

FM Global Foundation

Hey Social Good

Jim Perry

Matthew Pebley

Mitzi Belknap and John McDonough

Pamela Maher

Robert Holmes

Rocco Cappetta

Rudy Robles

Sacred Heart Parish School

Salmon Family Foundation

The San Diego Home Buyer

Theresa Acerro

University of San Diego Graduate Business Student Association

Adrienne Brian
Alfredo Guerrero
Alicia Appel
Allison Rolfe
Amanda Matheson
Amanda Sousa
Angela Hawkins
Anna Mosca
ATA Law Group
Barbara and Michel Zelnick
Beezie Gerber
Ben Thoron and Patto Saraniero
Beryl and Edward Flom
Bill Kuni
Brian Langner
Can Diego
Carol Kim
Chante Coleman
Chiara Clemente
Christina Arias
Christopher Sproul
Clam & Clasp
Clay Myers-Bowman
Climate Action Campaign
Collaborative Land Use Solutions
Community Boost in honor of Annie Atwell
Cory Briggs
Craig Heiserman
Cynthia and Dan Kronemyer
Cynthia Benner
Deborah Gustlin in honor of Zach Gustlin
Diane Takvorian
Dwight Worden
Ed and Carolyn Parrish
Elizabeth Sharp

Emily Wier
Environmental Health Coalition
Eric Armstrong
Erik Humphrey
Gary Boggs
Gary Smith and Kathleen Kemper
George Liddle
HJ Walker Jr
Intel Foundation
J. Sarah Sorenson
Jacquelyn Diaz in honor of Marie Diaz
Jeffrey Koble
Jesse Adler
Jill Witkowski Heaps
Jim Magner
Joe LaCava
John and Nuri Pierce
John Rouse
Jonathan Grayson
Juliana Marques Bross
Julie Rueckheim
Kristen and Jim Smith
Lani Lutar
Larry Zimmerman
Linda Larson
Livia Beaudin
Lucky Seven Foundation
Lydia Van Note
Maria Babizki
Mark and DeAnn Reynolds
Mark West
Mary Joseph
Mary Temple
Megan and Chris Thomas
Micah Trasky
Michelle Barry in honor of Gary and Marian Barry
Mike Wasiluk
Mitchell McKirnan
Mitzi Mayer
Neil Bacon
Nicole Capretz
Nora Jaffe
Outdoor Outreach
Pamela and John Heatherington
Paula and Alan Wasserman
Place Tegland
Prudential Financial
Rachel Bosworth
Remedios Celones
Richard Kipnis
Richtr Financial Studio in honor of Andrew Relyea
Ross Goldman
Ryan Burke
Ryne Holmberg
Samantha Murray
Samuel Fuhrman
San Diego Canyonlands
Serenella Cosentino-Long
Stephanie Webber
Steven Slovyan
Tama Becker-Varano
Teresa Barth
The “Gathering of Gals” in memory of Brendon Rios
The Vann P. and Carol G. Parker Charitable Fund
Tommy Hough
United Health Group
Active Skin Repair
Adam Bruck
Adam Hebert
Alexa Labaun
Alina Kadyntseva
Alison Rowe
Allyson Miller
Alyssa Senturk
Amie Aguiar
Anastasia Gandrik
Andrea Sanchez Davidson
Andrew Meyer
Angelica Rocha
Brian Elliott
Brook Sarson
Carrie Schneider
Champin Chen
Christina Neumeyer
Christopher Lund
Claudia Moscola
Cooper & Lewand-Martin
Cristiane and Marcelo Valdez
Dana Mosser
Daniel Heinrich
Danielle Berger
David Grems
David Potter
Debby Sherman
Deborah Mossa
Debra Quick-Jones
Denise Hlavka in honor of Matt O’Malley
Derrick Miyao
Donald Mosier
Donna Dupont
Doug Shaftel
Dustin Lopez
Elizabeth Rudee
Ellen Geis
Emilee Mason
Eric Karlan
Flor Hernandez Stovall
Gabriel Mendoza
Garrison Ham
Gayle Feallock in honor of Bliss Events
Gayle Feallock in honor of Eternally Loved
Gayle Feallock in honor of Events Inspired
Gayle Feallock in honor of Holly Kalkin
Gayle Feallock in honor of Melissa Reinke
Gayle Feallock in honor of Tahnie Nollenberger
Geoffrey Leist
Ghazal Saray-Sorour
Harry Bubbins
Hiba Reyes
Howard W. Newman
India Benedetto
Isabella Alessandrini
Jacinto Berrios
Jane Finneran in honor of Mitchel Bartolo
Jared Quient
Jason Korniski
Jim and Barbara Peugh
Jim Honeycutt
John Anthony Jauregui
John Lee
John Scott
Josh “Josias” Osias
Jules Jackson
Julianne North
Katherine McGee
Kathleen Bendel
Kaylie Sperry
Keith Hunter in honor of William Hunter
Kelsey Dix
Kevin Straw
Kimberly Downing
Krista Blair
Kristin Kuhn
Laura Hall
Laura Minna-Choe
Lauren Alvarez
Linda Badii
Lindsay Brown
Lisa Urbanek in memory of Emma Urbanek
Lucas O’Connor
Lyford Rome
Margaret Pettit in honor of Katie Pettit
Mark Celones
Marsha Rold
Mary Margaret and Paco Barajas
Matthew Batista
Megan O’Neill
Mi Lee
Michael Bushong
Michael Cox
Michael Yubane
Michelle Struthers
Mike Gollong
Mohammed Shuman and Roxana Yasmin
Molly Zager Art and Florals
Morgan Justice-Black
Nathan Warner
Neal Bloom
Nicholaus Smith
Nicole Burgess
Patricia Butler and Cary Lowe
Paul Couillard
Pedro Da Silva
Peter Silva
Prentice Brower
Rachel Le
Rachel Lubich
Rachel Muhlstein in honor of Samson and Ivy Lazarus
Ren Stinson in honor of Kenji Stinson
Richard Ram
Roberta Collins
Sarah Weinberg
Sean McDonough
Shannon Subers
Shelley Hoolihan in honor of Cathy Anderson
Shelly Raming
Skylar Thiel
Stefanie Sotelo
Stephanie Ritter
Stevan Power
Stewart Halpern
Summer Bosse
Susan Baldwin
Suzanne Walker
United Way of South Hampton Roads
Wai Tung Cheung
William Golisch

Staff Members

 Matt O’MalleyExecutive DirectorHe/Him/His
Stephanie RitterDevelopment DirectorShe/Her/Hers
Patrick McDonoughSenior AttorneyHe/Him/His
Rachele LopezScience Program ManagerShe/Her/Hers
Marie DiazMarine Programs CoordinatorShe/Her/Hers
Ally SenturkCommunications and Outreach ManagerShe/Her/Hers
Lucero SanchezCommunity Policy CoordinatorShe/Her/Hers
Delanie MedinaEducation CoordinatorShe/Her/Hers
Jenny CorneliusOperations and Engagement CoordinatorShe/Her/Hers
Shannon Subers*Education SpecialistThey/Them/Theirs

*Left Coastkeeper in 2021. We miss you!

Board Members

Cindy LinBoard President
Michael TortiBoard Vice President
Diane CastañedaBoard Secretary
Bruce ReznikBoard Member
Joe CallahanBoard Member
Tyler HeeBoard Member
Lee DuranBoard Member
Gabriela Torres*Board Member
Murtaza Baxamusa*Board Treasurer
Catherine StiefelAdvisory Committee Chair
Jim PerryScience Advisor

*Left Coastkeeper in 2021. We miss you!

Our 2022 Vision

Protect Clean Water

Strengthen water quality protections against pollution and ecosystem degradation and advance climate resilience and adaptation.

Advance a Climate-Smart Water Supply for San Diego

Ensure a resilient, multi-benefit, climate-smart water supply that supports a water secure future in San Diego.

Engage and Activate the Public to Protect Clean Water

Educate the community on achieving and protecting a clean, sustainable water supply and use, and increase environmental and science literacy in San Diego.

Be the Voice for Clean Water for San Diego

Maintain and amplify our effective, influential voice for clean water in our region.

Make Equity, Justice, and Inclusion a Core Part of San Diego Coastkeeper

Build and strengthen equity, justice, and inclusion into our internal and external organizational policies and programs.

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