After more than six years with the water-quality watchdog, Baehrens will assume her new job as senior director of collaborative philanthropy at San Diego Grantmakers. The organization's board of directors has formed an executive director search committee and is reviewing applications on a rolling basis through Oct. 30.
“Megan’s vision has greatly improved fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County--from the expansion of hands-on science curriculum available countywide to innovative stormwater permits and pure water in the City of San Diego,” said Elizabeth Taylor, president of the board of directors. “She assembled a powerful team of experts within the organization and empowered them with the resources to get results. We’re thankful she’s leaving these big wins and her talented team to continue the organization’s work.”
Baehrens joined Coastkeeper’s development department in 2009, assuming the role of executive director in 2012. In her time at the helm, the organization:
n Culminated 15 years of work to earn unanimous San Diego City Council approval to transition the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment plant to a potable reuse facility;
n Worked alongside Sen. Marty Block to pass statewide legislation to approve beach water quality testing that can produce warnings in two to four hours rather than 24 hours;
n Ensured the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board adopt a municipal stormwater permit that includes a watershed-based management strategy advocated by San Diego Coastkeeper;
n Reached an agreement with the Department of Defense to reduce sewage spills on Camp Pendleton to ten or fewer each year and ensure that the public is notified of all human and environmental threats when they do occur; and
n Aligned Coastkeeper lessons and Project SWELL with new Common Core standards so that teachers and informal educators can meet state requirements while also teaching environmental science.
“We’re celebrating San Diego Coastkeeper’s 20 years of excellence this year,” Baehrens said, “and it’s my honor to hand over a mighty team that protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters for the entire county. The work of this organization will only continue to grow in importance over the next two decades as we turn our attention to water supply management and industrial stormwater enforcement.”
Program Director Travis Pritchard, who has been with the organization for more than five years, will work with board treasurer Stewart Halpern to manage the organization until its new executive director comes on board. Law and policy director Matt O'Malley will continue to lead countywide advocacy efforts.
Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. For more, see sdcoastkeeper.org.