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


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.