Why do you volunteer with Coastkeeper? Like many other San Diegans, my family loves the quality of life here. The coast, valleys and canyons shape our understanding of this place we call ‘home’. San Diego Coastkeeper protects and advances our knowledge of our natural heritage. What we give in time and money is an investment towards the collective future of our children.

What do you wish everyone knew about Coastkeeper? Our efforts to preserve marine habitats, conserve and recycle water, and mitigate against climate change have significant economic and health benefits in the long-term. Many industries, including research & biotechnology, tourism, and construction, thrive in San Diego because of the demand for the regional amenities that Coastkeeper advocacy results in, attracting both human and financial capital. These benefits ripple through our local communities in terms of job opportunities, education and health outcomes.

Murtaza Baxamusa has a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and has taught courses there in urban planning and social policy. As a certified planner, he has two decades of experience in professional practice and advocacy of affordable housing and economic development for workers. He is currently the Director of Planning and Development for the San Diego Building Trades Family Housing Corporation, and previously was the Deputy Director at the Center on Policy Initiatives.

Murtaza serves on the Board of Directors for Housing California, and the Advisory Committee for California’s No Place Like Home program, Cleveland National Forest Foundation and the Middle Class Taxpayers Association & Foundation. He is the author of the book “A New Model for Housing Finance: Public and Private Sectors Working Together to Build Affordability.”