March 14 – Coastkeeper’s New Board Member Brings State Advocacy Expertise to Local Waters

Water watchdog group’s new executive committee prepares for federal policy threats to San Diego waters

SAN DIEGO, March 14, 2017 –Today, San Diego Coastkeeper welcomes a new member to its board of directors, long-time environmental advocate Samantha Murray, J.D. Murray brings the water watchdog group deep experience in state and federal ocean policy, playing a key role in the design and implementation of California’s network of Marine Protected Areas, which now covers 16 percent of state waters.

San Diego Coastkeeper also announces the unanimous election of its 2017 board of director’s executive committee. Watershed Scientist Taya Lazootin will serve as president, Government Law Attorney Jack Brown as vice president, Financial Executive Stewart Halpern as treasurer and Accounting Executive Catherine Stiefel as secretary.

“Serious federal policy threats to our waters make our role as a locally focused watchdog group more crucial than ever. If we don’t protect our water, who will?” says San Diego Coastkeeper Board President Taya Lazootin. “Samantha Murray’s success fighting for regional effects through broader state policies will support our defense against top-down threats to San Diego County’s waters.”

Murray has 15 years of experience in conservation and has directed water programs at Ocean Conservancy, the Audubon Society and Oregon Environmental Council. Currently, she serves as the executive director for the Master’s Program in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Previously, Murray founded an ocean consulting business, where she worked with clients on issues related to water quality, ocean acidification, habitat protection and climate change.

San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. For more information on San Diego Coastkeeper and its staff, board members and work, please visit


SAN DIEGO COASTKEEPER: Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. Visit us online at