The day broke sunny and cool… a fine Coronado winter morning… as a small crowd began to gather at the Coronado Cays Yacht Club (CCYC). It was a day of celebration — two marine skimmers donated to CCYC were being dedicated. As the crowd grew so did conversation about how effective the skimmers had proven to be since their installation less than a month earlier.
Right on schedule at 4 Bells [10:00 am] Commodore Dave Murree welcomed the now 50 strong throng of sailors, Coronado citizens, Emerald Keepers, KECO installers, and City and Port of San Diego dignitaries. Commodore Murree captured both the excitement and the import of the installation before turning the podium over to the two individuals responsible for conceiving, planning, preparation, and installation of the skimmers — Van Peterson and Amy Steward.
Speaking first, Van — CCYC Port Captain and Dockmaster for the previous 4 ½ years — described how the joint CCYC / Emerald Keepers undertaking realized a dream he had had for several years. Known throughout CCYC as “can do,” “hands on,” and indefatigable, Van spoke with pride about how the skimmers were already having a positive effect in the marina, contributing to depollution of San Diego Bay, and reinforcing the “green boating” spirit of CCYC. He then introduced Amy Steward, founder and President of Emerald Keepers, crediting her with the vision, drive, and collaborative passion to bring skimmers to both Coronado yacht clubs.
Stepping to the podium, Amy thanked Emerald Keepers Board members and all in attendance for their support, CCYC’s foresight, and the collaboration that brought installation of two skimmers named Tiger and Pink Floyd to fruition.
Briefly describing Emerald Keepers as “the only non-profit in Coronado solely focused on environmental sustainability and stewardship with the intent of making Coronado a model city of sustainability,” Steward went on to highlight the impressive capabilities and value of the skimmers:
- Continuous operation — 24/7/365 — each pumping 450 gallons a minute (the equivalent of each pump filling a swimming pool every 40 minutes) removing floating debris and surface pollutants.
- Minimal maintenance.
- Operating cost per skimmer: approximately 5 cents a day.
- All skimmers materials completely recyclable.
Steward described how funding for Tiger and Pink Floyd was made possible through a generous grant from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to Emerald Keepers and donations by CCYC’s own Seagulls Club, the Whitacre family (Tiger’s parents), Emerald Keepers, and other donors. The unique naming protocols, Steward added, were best explained by reading the educational signs accompanying each skimmer.
A representative from Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer’s office brought certificates of recognition from Lawson-Remer to congratulate Emerald Keepers and Coronado Cays Yacht Club on their environmental work.
The ceremony concluded with a ribbon cutting over one of the skimmers as all in attendance enjoyed the flow of pristine bay water below.
“Welcome Aboard, Boris!” Emerald Keepers Partners with CYC to Skim the Bay