San Diego CA— Michael Gelfand, president of Campland on the Bay, San Diego’s most popular year-round campground and marina located on the shores of Mission Bay, presented a check for $15,000 to San Diego Coastkeeper at their Seaside Soiree fundraising event held at Scripps Seaside Forum last fall. The donation represents an initial contribution from the campground’s “Campland Cares” community giving program, an ongoing fundraising campaign to benefit the organization that protects fishable, swimmable and drinkable water in San Diego County.
Campland on the Bay is located right on San Diego’s aquatic playground, Mission Bay, so we are keenly attuned to what this amazing natural resource means to our region, to tourism and to our quality of life. While we have a host of activities year-round, a big part of the Campland experience is centered around the beach and the marina,” Gelfand said. “Our employees selected San Diego Coastkeeper because they share Coastkeeper’s values and salute their efforts in education and advocacy to protect clean water so our campers will be able to play on the bay for decades to come.”
The check represents funds raised by donations from campers who agree to have $1 per night added to their campsite fees as a donation. The program is explained to guests when they make camping reservations and campers may opt out at any time. Campland Cares previously raised more than $45,000 over three years for its first recipient, Homeless Youth Outreach Project. In addition to monetary donations, staff and management donated time and treasury for special events and in-kind donations. The new beneficiary of the Campland Cares project was vetted and selected by the park staff members who explain the purpose of donations to campers.
“There’s such a synergy with Coastkeeper because the staff at Campland on the Bay shares its passion to protect and preserve clean water for San Diego’s beaches and bays, rivers and ocean,” according to Gelfand. “After all, their workplace is situated right on Mission Bay between Rose Creek and Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve, so they understand and experience in a very real way what it means for people and wildlife alike because actually, we all live downstream.”
San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores swimmable, fishable, drinkable waters throughout the inland and coastal areas of the county. The organization’s staff and volunteers, comprised of scientists, advocates, educators and lawyers, are zealous advocates for clean water. They preserve and protect water supply sources, prevent pollution and marine debris, find and fix water quality problems, clean beaches and waterways and ensure private and public compliance with permits to prevent runoff pollution from streets and neighborhoods.
Additionally, San Diego Coastkeeper’s Project SWELL provides free hands-on environmental science curriculum for teachers in San Diego Unified School District. This education resource ensures students learn how and why their actions affect our county’s water quality and what they can do to protect water sources for drinking, recreation and commerce (fishing, aquaculture, tourism).
“Imagine our region if we couldn’t play in our oceans, rivers and bays. This would mean no swimming, surfing, snorkeling, diving or fishing,” said Megan Baehrens, executive director of San Diego Coastkeeper. “We want people to know they play a crucial role in preserving and protecting our water resources so that today’s children will be able to bring their own kids to enjoy the water sports and recreation we enjoy.”
Baehrens said that she hopes the partnership with Campland will reach a new audience, expanding the group of core supporters who take care to limit their impacts on the environment.
“There’s a natural affinity between our two organizations,” Baehrens said. “Campers come to Campland on the Bay because they love the beach, where they can swim and play in Mission Bay, enjoy a host of watersports and bird and wildlife viewing at Rose Creek and Kendall Frost [marsh reserve]. We are so grateful for their support and hope to accomplish incredible things for clean water through this special partnership.”
Gelfand said he is confident that Campland on the Bay campers will embrace the vision and mission of San Diego Coastkeeper and that donations will be as robust as they have been for homeless teens. “Our campers love the outdoors and especially our beaches and bays. They appreciate being able to camp on the beach and the special beauty of our region. After all, more than half of our campers live within an hour’s drive, so they understand why we need to take action today so their families can continue to play in the bay for decades to come.”
To discover more about Campland Cares community support program, visit https://www.campland.com. To learn more about San Diego Coastkeeper, its projects, events and how you can help, visit http://www.sdcoastkeeper.org.