To Protect the Region’s Water Quality, Orange County Coastkeeper Launches 20-Year Vision
Coastkeeper to expand its facilities to provide more education and specialized programs to protect natural resources in Orange County, Inland Empire and Coachella Valley
Programs to engage local community members to better serve their needs
Coastkeeper to establish environmental law firm and expand its staff
Today, Orange County Coastkeeper, announced a 20-year visionary plan to align the organization with its water quality programs. The organization is calling this visionary plan State of Your Water, and believes it is essential in making Orange County desirable and a great place in which to reside, work and recreate. For the last 22 years, Coastkeeper, and its affiliate programs in the Inland Empire and the Coachella Valley, have worked to protect the region’s water resources so they are swimmable, drinkable and fishable for present and future generations.
Coastkeeper works collaboratively with regional stakeholders – including policy makers, businesses and community members – to defend waterways across Orange County, the Inland Empire and the Coachella Valley. It’s improving local water quality with innovative and effective programs in education, advocacy, enforcement, research, restoration and conservation.
Coastkeeper devised State of Your Water to involve the community in protecting water quality. Protecting the region’s natural resources has been for the past 22 years, and will be for years to come, an ongoing and continuous process. The process requires vigilance, expertise, strength as an organization, and the capacity to use the tools of collaboration, advocacy and litigation to protect the region’s water resources. With the community’s support, the organization will continue to help the region thrive through the evolution of its programs.
“State of Your Water creates a proactive and aggressive agenda for Coastkeeper so we can continue to protect our water resources and make Orange County, and other Southern California regions, a paradise in which we reside, work and recreate,” said Garry Brown, Orange County Coastkeeper founder and president. “Our work is about restoring and preserving our communities’ integrity for our children, our future generations, and all of us.”
STATE OF YOUR WATER GOALS:
Under State of Your Water, Coastkeeper hopes to expand its facilities to provide more education and specialized programs. The programmatic goals of this initiative are:
- to protect and promote water quality through research, education and advocacy
- to restore the Santa Ana River and work toward a multi-use paradise for wildlife and for recreation
- to significantly reduce trash in waterways, harbors and coastal waters through advocacy and collaboration with packaging manufacturers
- to help the Inland Empire Waterkeeper and the Coachella Valley Waterkeeper better serve their communities through education, advocacy and enforcement
- to establish an environmental law firm
- to expand its professional staff to include community engagement and outreach
COASTKEEPER BY THE NUMBERS
In numbers, Coastkeeper has accomplished the following over the last two decades:
- 40,000 students across the region connected with their environment through hands on field trips at no cost to schools or students
- 7 marine protected areas (MPAs) established through advocacy efforts and mobilizing volunteer researchers across Orange County
- Recommended allocations of $64 million to install storm water capture systems in streets across Orange County, thanks to its work with the Orange County Transportation Authority through a program Coastkeeper worked to establish
- $3.5+ million contributed to environmental restoration projects through legal enforcement
- 100 industrial sites stopped from illegally discharging polluted runoff through Coastkeeper’s clean water enforcement
- 8 streams gained protected status and earned funds for restoration projects, due to data Coastkeeper collected and published on local water quality
- 1,280 sq. meters of planted eelgrass, which currently have grown to almost 1 acre of eelgrass beds, and improving Newport Bay Ecosystems
- 130 volunteer divers trained to plant kelp and monitor reefs in Crystal Cove, Little Corona, Upper Newport Bay and Laguna Beach
ADDITIONAL DETAILS AND CONTACT:
- Organizations: Orange County Coastkeeper
- Interviews available: For interviews with Orange County Coastkeeper, contact Hector Zermeño, [email protected] or 619-732-0789 x432
- Links to use in your story:
ORANGE COUNTY COASTKEEPER: Orange County Coastkeeper is a member of the International Waterkeeper Alliance, which has 241 different independent programs across 40 countries. Founded in 1999, the mission of Coastkeeper is to protect and promote sustainable water resources that are swimmable, drinkable, and fishable. Coastkeeper is a nonprofit clean water organization that serves as a proactive steward of our fresh- and saltwater ecosystems. We work collaboratively with diverse groups in the public and private sectors to achieve healthy, accessible, and sustainable water resources for the region. We implement innovative, effective programs in education, advocacy, restoration, research, enforcement, and conservation. For more information, visit www.coastkeeper.org or call 714-850-1965.