San Diego Coastkeeper welcomed La Jolla resident Mallory Watson as its Community Education Coordinator last month. Watson earned her masters in Marine Affairs and Policy from University of Miami and has lived on both coasts and Hawaii before settling locally.
Watson said there are small things people can do everyday that affect the water supply and our own wallets.
“Environmental responsibility is economic responsibility,” she said.
Patch: How would you describe role with San Diego Coastkeeper?
Mallory Watson: Dream the ideal position. It’s a great balance of working with the community and volunteers, and using science and policy to make an effective change.
Patch: What are some upcoming projects you are working on?
Watson: One of our big projects right now is starting inaugural Community Advisory Council. We are hoping to bring a group of individuals together that represent different communities and perspectives throughout San Diego County to help us find and fix water quality issues. We have resources to help people solve these problems, but so often they go unnoticed. We would like to help individuals be a voice for their community to help protect our swimmable, fishable, drinkable waters.
Patch: What are ways the community can get involved?
Watson: There are a lot of things people can do everyday which is almost as effective as volunteering. Whether it’s cleaning the beach on their own or making sure they recycle more. Styrofoam doesn’t break down. When they go to a restaurant and if they do use Styrofoam containers, encourage the restaurant to think of alternative
Patch: What are simple things people can do to protect our water?
Watson: One is reducing your use of single use items, reusing them if you do and finally recycle. You don’t get to pick one: reduce, reuse or recycle. Clean up after your dog and clean your car that will reduce pollutants in the watershed. Thinking about how much water you use, think about the materials you are using, and the direct impact on your community.
Patch: How do you incorporate green practices in your personal life?
Watson: I always carry a reusable bag. I walk to the grocery store when I can and living in La Jolla it’s a huge benefit. I always do full loads of laundry. It’s small things we’ve told when we were little, and if you think about it, it all adds up.
Patch: What are major issues concerning San Diego water?
Watson: We don’t have a lot of water just around for us to use. So water gets expensive, the more we use, the more expensive it’s going to be. So if we are careful about how much we are using and we don’t pollute the water we do have, it’s going to be a more cost effective solution.
Patch: What types of educational programs does Coastkeeper incorporate in schools?
Watson: Coastkeeper runs a school-based education program called Project SWELL (Stewardship: Water Education for Lifelong Learning). We provide in-class lessons and curriculum for elementary schools in San Diego Unified School District and Oceanside. While we do not work in the classrooms directly, we provide professional development, training and curriculum for teachers. We do believe that educating the public extends to our classrooms. Creating a more informed and aware population frequently starts at a young age and in our schools.
Patch: What are activities or places you like to go to in La Jolla or San Diego?
Watson: My favorite thing is tidepooling, hands down. At low tide, you can find me at any one of La Jolla’s tide pools looking for things. I think La Jolla is one of the best places to go running especially in the evening at sunset. is one of my favorites. I love going to for my Mexican food.