OK, maybe it’s a bit extreme to say that we can’t live without them, but it’s not an overstatement to say that our work would not be possible without the support of our donors and volunteers. From time to time, we will share conversations with people who, like you, make generous investments of their time and resources to ensure fishable, swimmable and drinkable water in San Diego, today and for generations to come.
David Welborn is a past member of San Diego Coastkeeper’s Board of Directors, including one year as Chairman. He and his wife, Ann, have invested in Coastkeeper’s work through targeted grants and general support. David joined me recently for a chat in our Liberty Station office.
Tracie Barham: David, I know you’ve had a long history with San Diego Coastkeeper, can you tell me why you first got involved?
David Welborn: I have almost always lived near the coast, and when I’m near the water I feel like I’m in a sacred place. Our water is such a valuable asset, I felt it was important for me to help protect it. After all, without water there is no life.
Tracie: I couldn’t agree more, David. We are so lucky to live in this paradise. Tell me, what about Coastkeeper’s approach excites you the most?
David: As former teachers, Coastkeeper’s youth education programs have a special appeal to both Ann and I. Also, your water quality monitoring program has multiple impacts on the community. It’s not just the data that informs all of your work, but the valuable experience gained by our future scientists as volunteers. Lastly, we are glad that Coastkeeper holds polluters accountable through litigation, when necessary.
Tracie: I’ll admit, as Coastkeeper’s new Executive Director, the fact that our programs are so interconnected is really inspiring to me. What do you wish more people knew about San Diego Coastkeeper?
David: I think people would be very impressed if they knew how much Coastkeeper is able to achieve with such a small budget. Your small staff (aided by many volunteers) is able to do so much for our community and the environment thanks to their passion and intelligence.
Tracie: Thank you, David. I agree, we are small but mighty! Okay, last question, what outdoor activities do you and Ann like to do when you’re not busy serving your community as Board members and donors?
David: Not surprisingly, many of our favorite things to do are on the water! We like to go outrigger canoeing in the Bay, kayak surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Tracie: Nice, I’ll see you in the water! Thank you for all that you do for the environment and our community.