Hundreds of environmental supporters joined A Clean Bay Victory celebration on May 22

In the 1900s, San Diego Bay supported great biodiversity in its shallow open water, salt marshes and mud flats. Currently, more than a third of San Diego County live within five miles of the bay. After years of neglect and poor planning, industries polluted the bay with more than 20 types of pollutants, endangered surrounding communities with 36 types of air contaminants and destroyed 90 percent of the bay's mud flats and 78 percent of its salt marshes. (Skip to the goods--I want to see the photos.)

In 2012, we honored three individuals and one organization that led efforts over the past 32 years to improve San Diego Bay. Each awardee played an integral role in the community-wide efforts that resulted in major environmental victories for San Diego Bay, and ultimately, can lead to a reversal of these trends. Key victories include the decommissioning of the South Bay Power Plant, the adaptation of the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan and the cleanup of toxic pollution at the bottom of San Diego Bay. We would like to extend a warm thanks to our proud sponsors: Pacifica Companies, Unified Port of San Diego, The Wild Thyme Company and Bruce and Betsy Gill.

The VIP reception opened the A Clean Bay Victory event at the Star of the Sea Event Center along the harbor in downtown San Diego. A Clean Bay Victory packed The Berkeley event space at the Maritime Museum as attendees from all over San Diego and Tijuana regions raised $38,000 to support EHC in honor of the environmental champions.

More than 320 individuals attended EHC's 2012 Awards Celebration. At the event, former Councilmember Donna Frye launched EHC's Sustainability Circle to secure monthly contributions from donors who support EHC's environmental justice work.

We're planning our next awards event. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information.

Highlights of Tuesday's event include:

  • Marco Gonzalez received an award from Ashok Israni, CEO of Pacifica Companies, for his tireless advocacy and legal leadership in the Clean Bay Campaign.
  • San Diego Coastkeeper, a non-profit ally in the Clean Bay Campaign, received an award from City Councilmember David Alvarez for serving as a strong and critical partner with EHC in the fight to preserve San Diego Bay since 1995.
  • Dan McKirnan, EHC boardmember, was honored by Congressman Bob Filner for his commitment to the environmental protection and service as a founding member of the Clean Bay Campaign.
  • Laura Hunter, Clean Bay Campaign director, was commended with the Donna Frye Spirit of Justice Award for over two decades of dedicated work on the Clean Bay efforts for Environmental Health Coalition.