OC Coastkeeper Releases 3-Year Strategic Vision

Bolsa Chica. Photo by DHN/Wikimedia Commons

The nonprofit environmental organization Orange County Coastkeeper has released its three-year strategic vision for Southern California. The plan is a way for them to organize their efforts at protecting clean water access for Orange County residents.

“In many settings where key decisions are made by regulators and/or other agencies, Orange County Coastkeeper is often the ‘only NGO at the table’ – a seat that we have earned through our professional environmental advocacy over the decades,” states the plan. “At the same time, we are the leading nonprofit organization in the region for identifying pollution sources, bringing them to the polluters’ and the regulators’ attention, and initiating enforcement actions when necessary.”

The plan has five main points:

1. Remain vigilant as the leading regional nonprofit organization
providing professional environmental advocacy to protect water
quality and advance ecosystem health.

2. Directly engage in pollution prevention through conducting or
engaging others in monitoring, research, and enforcement of clean
water laws.

3. Educate and inspire students and community members to
strive for clean water that supports beneficial uses and ensures
the future sustainability of our water resources.

4. Ensure OCCK remains a stable, viable, and visible organization
that provides an effective and influential voice for clean water in
our communities.

5. Expand Coastkeeper’s jurisdiction to implement programs that
protect water quality, promote sustainability, provide watershed
education, and enforce clean water laws throughout the greater
southern California region.

Throughout its 20 years, Orange County Coastkeeper has worked on numerous projects and movements, all in an effort to preserve our and future generations’ access to clean water. Here’s a brief list of some of their recent work: stormwater pollution prevention; commissioned a white paper on how to protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta; helps citizens protect Marine Protected Areas like Bolsa Chica, Crystal Cove, and Upper Newport Bay; provides information to property owners on how to replace high-water use landscaping with plants that use much less water; protects coastal access; partnered with the City of Newport Beach to reduce the use of copper-based paints on boat hulls; advocated for the immediate removal of San Onofre’s spent nuclear fuel and storage in the best containers available;  taken a very skeptical look at the Poseidon Huntington Beach desalination plant; and worked to restore eelgrass in Upper Newport Bay as a small but important guard against ocean acidification.

“For two decades, Coastkeeper’s mission has been to improve water quality in Orange County so that our neighbors can enjoy clean, healthy water,” said Garry Brown, Coastkeeper’s founder and executive director, in a May 28 news release. “As our organization expands, it’s imperative that we implement a plan that reflects our vision for the region and continues our fight for clean water.”

Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.

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