Oceanside resident Taya Lazootin honored as a Volunteer of the Year
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 25, 2011 – San Diego Coastkeeper, the region’s largest professional environmental organization working to protect inland and coastal waters, announced today its 2011 Volunteer of the Year and inductees to its Hall of Fame.
Oceanside resident Taya Lazootin earned the title as the 2011 Volunteer of the Year. Since September 2009, Lazootin has volunteered in Coastkeeper’s water quality monitoring program. Today, she is a lead volunteer who oversees all aspects of the two-day water quality sampling and laboratory analysis.
“We provide essential water quality data for our county,” said Travis Pritchard, Coastkeeper’s water monitoring lab manager. “Taya is the glue that holds us together.”
Lazootin also helps Coastkeeper’s marine debris staff run special cleanup events, and she regularly supports all north county beach cleanups.
By day, Lazootin trains educators to teach science at the Perris School District. Because of her teacher training background, she also volunteers with Coastkeeper’s Project SWELL. She provides counsel on creative ways to work within school systems and to keep the curriculum updated to meet the needs of today’s technologically advanced classrooms. Lazootin has also helped transform materials for Coastkeeper’s events from environmental activities into formalized educational lessons.
Along with Lazootin, Coastkeeper nominated 27 Volunteer Core Hall of Fame and 41 Water Quality Monitoring Hall of Fame volunteers.
The Volunteer Core Hall of Fame inductees include: Amanda Sousa, Sierra Basegio, Taya Lazootin, Rebecca Kanter, Kevin Straw, Amy Havens, Bonnie Benitez, Chris Gunst, David Babiarz, Jaime Somers, John Freutel, Karen Wytmans, Kathleen Kelly, Katelyn Hailey, Kelsey Flynn-Granquist, Lili Canellas, Maya Wasserman, Molly Troup, Patty Malecke, Ruby Teague, Tom Bernitt, Tori Baird, Travis Johnson, Victoria Rios, Stephanie Killion and Yana Titova.
The Water Quality Monitoring Hall of Fame volunteers are: Adrian Kinnane, Al Barret, Amanda Sousa, Beth Hendershot, Bruce Hendershot, Cathryn Henning, Cynthia Gorham, Debby Knight, Dan Murphy, Frank Kawasaki, Graham Szybala, George Liddle, Jack Marshall, Jim Brown, Kacey Cinciarelli, Karen Waggoner, Rebecca Kanter, Rexanne Dayes, Steve Kwik, Taya Lazootin, Tom Bernitt, Allison Scofield, Ashley Brock, Chris Swanson, Dale Dalrymple, David Babiarz, Elana Colby, Glenda Poliner, Katie Jocelyn, Kelly Gallagher, Lucas Salazar, Melissa Ta, Noah Thoron, Paige Decino, Roderick Michener, Shane Mudd, Shelley Reid, Stephanie Hines, Tara Pelan and Tom Mills.
“If you are serious about protecting our environment, come to Coastkeeper,” said Erin Reynante, volunteer and outreach coordinator at San Diego Coastkeeper. “We will find you the perfect volunteer project so you can make an impact while having fun.”
This year, Coastkeeper has coordinated with around 16,000 volunteers who dedicated more than 27,000 hours of service. This is the same as ten full-time employees contributing their time to saving San Diego’s inland and coastal waters.
Funding from community partners such as the Hattie Ettinger Conservation Fund at The San Diego Foundation, Patagonia and REI make volunteer training and support possible at San Diego Coastkeeper. The organization offers a variety of volunteer opportunities including beach cleanups, water quality monitoring, community outreach, advocacy, education and its new Pollution Patrollers program. For more information, visit Coastkeeper’s official website.
Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects the region’s bays, beaches, watersheds and ocean for the people and wildlife that depend on them. We balance community outreach, education, and advocacy to promote stewardship of clean water and a healthy coastal ecosystem. For more information, visit San Diego Coastkeeper online at https://www.sdcoastkeeper.org.