Coastkeeper’s new member and executive committee brings expertise to local waters

SAN DIEGO ― A new board of directors’ member joined the San Diego Coastkeeper. Samantha Murray, J.D., a long-time environmental advocate, has state and federal ocean policy experience.

San Diego Coastkeeper has also determined the unanimous election of its 2017 board of director’s executive committee: Watershed Scientist Taya Lazootin as president, Government Law Attorney Jack Brown as vice president, Financial Executive Stewart Halpern as treasurer and Accounting Executive Catherine Stiefel as secretary.

“Serious federal policy threats to our waters make our role as a locally focused watchdog group more crucial than ever. If we don’t protect our water, who will?” San Diego Coastkeeper Board President Taya Lazootin is quoted as saying. “Samantha Murray’s success fighting for regional effects through broader state policies will support our defense against top-down threats to San Diego County’s waters.”

With 15 years of experience in conservation, Murray has directed water programs at Ocean Conservancy, the Audubon Society and Oregon Environmental Council. She currently serves as the executive director for the Master’s Program in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Murray also founded an ocean consulting business, where she worked with clients on issues related to water quality, ocean acidification, habitat protection and climate change.

San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. For more information on San Diego Coastkeeper and its staff, board members and work, please visit

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