Saturday, September 30, 2023

Emerald Keepers of the Month: Rotary Club of Coronado and its Committee to Protect the Environment

Rotary Group beach cleanup

For Coronado locals and visitors alike, it is not unusual to see Rotarians in blue vests placing flags along Orange Ave, and more and more these days, at Central Beach, Tidelands Park and along the Bay at the Cays and the Strand.

Emerald Keepers would like to recognize the Rotary Club of Coronado as June 2021’s Emerald Keepers of the Month. Historically, for decades, Coronado Rotarians have reached out to help the environment through service projects such as those monthly Saturday Beach Clean-ups, planting trees, and helping enhance local school grounds on Rotarians at Work Days.

Rotary in Julian planting trees

Even in the midst of a year marked by a ruthless pandemic, Rotarians rallied to educate and take action to protect the environment. Coronado Rotary’s commitment to environmental sustainability was strengthened by a new primary focus for Rotarians in service clubs around the world.

Rotary Beach CleanupCoronado Rotary’s Committee to Protect the Environment (CPE) started in the summer of 2020. Emerald Keepers applauds this growing committee (now with 29 active members) that is dedicated to direct action, education, and service projects supporting the environment. In just one year that was greatly affected by the pandemic, the committee has none-the-less brought valuable educational information to the Rotary Club through ZOOM, and provided safe opportunities for committee members and many additional Rotarians to participate in events that have benefited our local community.

Since the CPE committee started events in September, the group has held over 35 clean-ups in Coronado and on the Strand, as well as a clean-up across the bay with the Eastlake Rotary Club. Through 115 volunteer hours, 436 buckets of trash were collected. This total equals 2,180 gallons of trash kept out of our bay and ocean!

Passionately dedicated to direct action, education, and service projects that support the environment, the Coronado Rotary Committee to Protect the Environment presented information about many topics at club meetings on Zoom. Each virtual meeting was attended by more than 100 members during the past year. Topics included: avoiding single use plastic; green holiday Ideas; water use and conservation, Project Drawdown: lowering GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions; End Plastic Soup – a Rotary Initiative to reduce plastic in the oceans; impact on the environment of single-use plastic bottles; Plover & Tern nesting season: protecting our shores; saving energy at home; pollinators: plants, life cycle, and migration; composting. and food waste- its impact on the environment.

Asked what inspired her to take on a leadership role in Coronado Rotary’s efforts to protect the environment, CPE chairperson, Zayanne Thompson replied, “My dad was a Rotarian for over 50 years and I grew up with volunteering and service in my blood. I also love the outdoors and am passionate about education and the environment. This new area of service fits perfectly! Protecting the environment is vital to the other areas of focus for Rotary, and also for the health and future of our planet. We cannot have peace, healthy kids, clean water, disease prevention, economic development, etc. without a healthy, equitable, and sustainable environment.”

Rotary Beach cleanup