Orange County Coastkeeper

We protect swimmable, drinkable & fishable water

aka Orange County Coastkeeper   |   Costa Mesa, CA   |  www.coastkeeper.org

Mission

Our mission is to protect the region’s water resources so they are swimmable, drinkable and fishable for present and future generations.

Ruling year info

1999

Founder & President

Mr. Garry Warner Brown

Main address

3151 Airway Avenue Ste F-110

Costa Mesa, CA 92626 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

33-0847892

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Santa Ana River Watershed flows through the western portions of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, then through Orange County to the Pacific Ocean. The watershed is over 3,000 square miles with over 5 million residents and is highly developed. Pollution carried by land-based activities highly impacts our inland waterways, rivers, harbors, and coastal waters. Our habitats, fish and mammal populations and marine resources have significantly declined in number and quality. Plastics, trash, debris, metals, oil, and grease have become a part of our marine environment. Though outside the Santa Ana River Watershed, South Orange County has identical problems, and the waterways that flow and discharge to the coast contain the same pollutants. Coastkeeper's mission has been to improve water quality through five programs; education, advocacy, restoration, enforcement, and sustainability.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Education

Coastkeeper developed the WHALES marine science and watershed education curriculum and engages about 2,500 students per year from under-resourced junior high and high schools through the program.  The curriculum includes field trips to coastal habitats and inland waterways, water quality testing, biological assessments, marine life surveys, habitat restoration activities, and career development.  Our other education programs include Kids Care, a marine-debris education program that provides free assemblies to underserved schools along with a field trip to the beach where students put their passion into action by performing a beach cleanup, Kids Ocean Day, an assembly/beach cleanup event that hosts over 1,000 elementary students at the beach where they perform a giant beach cleanup then line up in the sand to create an aerial art piece in the sand that we then photograph via drone, and Cleanup OC, our community cleanup program.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents

Through a collaborative approach, we work with public and private agencies to develop water quality solutions that balance the need of the environment and the community.  Our main focuses are eliminating polluted urban runoff and advocating for behavioral changes that will ensure a healthy future water supply.

Population(s) Served
Adults

To preserve critical habitat and species, Coastkeeper has worked to restore kelp forests, eelgrass beds in Newport Bay, the green abalone population off the Orange County coast, and native Olympia oysters in Alamitos Bay.  In addition, Coastkeeper hosts monthly beach cleanups at Huntington State Beach to reduce the amount of debris entering the ocean and to educate the public about coastal issues.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Coastkeeper conducts scientific research on sediment and water quality analysis in local waterways and harbors.  Our reports are utilized by governmental agencies at every level to create policy and regulations that address water-related challenges. Coastkeeper keeps a special focus on emerging technologies and innovation that can prevent pollution and reduce water and energy  use.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Coastkeeper has successfully achieved "on-the-ground" improvements in water quality through grassroots advocacy, active involvement in stakeholder groups, and third-party Clean Water Act lawsuits.

Population(s) Served
Adults

This an independently licensed Waterkeeper program under Coastkeeper's organizational umbrella. IEWK conducts primarily educational programs to all ages and performs advocacy throughout the Inland Empire

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

This is an independently licensed Waterkeeper program under the Coastkeeper organizational umbrella. CVWK conducts advocacy, education, and water monitoring programs in the Coachella Valley

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total pounds of debris collected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric is for the trash and debris collected at monthly beach cleanups at Huntington Beach and San Clemente. In addition, Coastkeeper coordinates the O. C. Coastal Cleanup Day & corporate events

Number of students educated through field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric includes high school students educated by Coastkeeper for watershed related field trips. Elementary students are provided trips to the beach teaching stewardship.

Number of testimonies offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Advocacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Coastkeeper has a strong advocacy programs and we maintain very public issues campaigns. This requires staff members providing testimony to various public agencies and special districts.

Number of audience members with favorable attitudes towards the issue or interest

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Advocacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric represents members from the public community that agree with our positions on issues and make the effort to attend hearings and testify to express their opinions on specific issues.

Number of civil litigation matters handled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Enforcement

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Coastkeeper enforces federal and state clean water laws throughout our region and watersheds. We have successfully brought over 100 actions against industrial polluters and a few public agencies.

Number of stories successfully placed in the media

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Advocacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric represents press releases, op-eds, media interviews, and news stories based on Coastkeeper's programs and activities. In addition we update our website www.Coastkeeper.org daily.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric represents volunteers at monthly beach and creek cleanups, Kid's Ocean Day, Coastal Cleanup Day, graduate students participating in our marine restoration projects and legal interns.

Number of comment letters to government agencies

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Advocacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Coastkeeper submits written comments to EIR's of proposed development projects, studies, reports, and to state and federal regulatory agencies in their permitting and policy development process.

Acres of natural habitat restored

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric represents our underwater marine restoration projects, now planting eelgrass and restoring Olympia Oysters. Coastkeeper has projects in upper Newport Harbor and Los Alamitos Bay

Number of individuals in the target audience that expresses intent to adopt (or continue) desired behavior

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Education

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Coastkeeper built and maintains a 2.5 ac. drought tolerant demonstration garden. With six themed landscapes, we teach how to transition traditional turf landscapes to colorful drought tolerant ones.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Coastkeeper's mission: All people have the inalienable right to clean water. Coastkeeper protects and restores water resources that are swimmable, drinkable, fishable, and sustainable.

Coastkeeper's goal is to significantly improve water quality in our waterways, harbors, and coastal waters. Also, Coastkeeper is in the process of restoring degraded marine habitats to have once again healthy, thriving marine habitats. In our early history, Coastkeeper primarily focused on polluted stormwater and urban runoff, including discharges from industrial facilities. Later, our focus broadened to include drinking water sources such as water capture, reuse, and recycling.

Coastkeeper has six pillars of our program: Education, Advocacy, Restoration, Research, Enforcement, and Sustainability.

Education: Coastkeeper each year sponsors a STEM watershed curriculum in over 30 middle and high schools. We host field trips for students to show them water-related infrastructure and state-of-the-art treatment plants. Also, we have programs that focus on elementary school children as well. Through our various programs, Coastkeeper educates nearly 5,000 students each year.

Advocacy: Coastkeeper collaborates with cities, business, special districts, and
regulatory agencies. We have earned a reputation as being reasonable and productive to work with. Over the years, we have achieved much success in working as a stakeholder in developing solutions to our partners' challenges. With our legal staff, Coastkeeper, as a stakeholder, is very involved with developing the discharge permit language and requirements of our Regional Water Quality Control Boards that cities and industrial facilities must comply with.

Restoration: Coastkeeper develops and implements marine restoration programs. We grew giant kelp in laboratories and out-planted kelp on reefs along the Orange County coastline for ten years. Today there are large canopies of kelp where there were none for the past 35 years.
Currently, Coastkeeper is six years into planting eelgrass in our estuaries, and adjacent to eelgrass, we are aqua-culturing Olympia Oysters.

Research: Over the past 20 years, Coastkeeper has taken thousands of water and sediment samples to generate data that regulatory agencies use to develop regulations and policies.
We have implemented numerous projects designed to achieve results and prove a condition.

Enforcement: Coastkeeper very actively enforces federal and state clean water laws. To date, Coastkeeper has filed approximately one hundred cases in federal court with a 100% success record in cleaning up the discharge of polluted urban pollution in each case. Coastkeeper has not lost a case. We are committed to cleaning up the watershed one polluting site at a time, if necessary.

Sustainability: Coastkeeper is committed to making southern California more water sustainable. We have identified four actions that will result in a sustainable southern California. We are working to implement those action items. One of the four actions is changing residents' behavior by causing a transition from traditional turf landscapes to where drought-tolerant landscapes are commonplace. Currently, Californians are using 60% of the developed potable water to irrigate landscapes. This represents the low-hanging fruit to change this practice. With our 2.5-acre drought-tolerant demonstration garden, Coastkeeper is reaching thousands of property owners and actually teaching them how to transition their landscape.

Coastkeeper was founded in 1998, and we opened our office doors on March 1, 1999. We were the 27th licensed N.G.O. to become a Waterkeeper program licensed by the Waterkeeper Alliance. Today there are over 300 programs spread in 29 countries. In 2007, Coastkeeper separately licensed with the Waterkeeper Alliance, a new program that covered San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, called the Inland Empire Waterkeeper (IEWK). The IEWK is a program of Orange County Coastkeeper. Coastkeeper's region is vast, covering over 3,000 square miles of a densely populated and developed urban area, with over 5 million people, and the Mojave Desert going east to the Colorado River.

With Coastkeeper's office in Costa Mesa and the IEWK office in Riverside, We employ fourteen full-time and nine part-time dedicated professionals. With the six program pillars described above, each pillar is a department and is led by a professional and staff. We have management staff and employ an outside media company for comprehensive media relations and messaging coverage. Our staff is well seasoned and has proven leadership.

After 20 years of operation, Coastkeeper is welcomed and expected to be at the table representing the environment and, particularly, water quality and healthy marine habitats. We have achieved numerous successes in all of our programs.

Coastkeeper has the benefit of having a very committed, engaged, and supportive Board of Directors. Besides the board providing governance to the organization, they are very engaged in our programs and very supportive financially.

Coastkeeper has achieved success in all of our programs. All of our programs have grown in staffing, budget and people reached and goals accomplished. In the past decade, we have won several large campaigns. Our legal department is held in high regard by State agencies for our work on enforcement cases and permitting. In the region, Coastkeeper is relied on to be the experts on water issues.

Our goal going forward is to continue to grow our programs and increase our capacity and effectiveness to do more representing the environment in new arenas.

Financials

Orange County Coastkeeper
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Orange County Coastkeeper

Board of directors
as of 1/28/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Robert King

Chairman, Orange County Coastkeeper

Term: 1999 -


Board co-chair

Chancellor John Weispfenning

Coast Community College District

Term: 2014 -

Garry Brown

President/CEO-Orange County Coastkeeper

Ellen Orange-Brown

Associate Director - Orange County Coastkeeper

Steve Bone

Retired Hotelier & Developer

Mandana Massoumi

Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP

Kara Adams

Senior Manager, Ernst & Young LLP

John Weispfenning, Ph.D

Chancellor, Coast Community College District

James Parkhurst

President, Newport Bay Hospital

Alan Freeman

Sr. VP of Investments, UBS

Mark Draper

President, SpringCreek Investors, Inc.

Vince Zimmerer

Exec. VP, W. Brown & Associates

Bob King

CPA, Hall & Company

Janice Sclafina

Reg. VP of Sales, Essity Professional Hygience-West US

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/28/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data