Volunteer Spotlight: Cynthia Mallett

This month we wanted to spotlight an amazing volunteer who has been dedicating her time to I Love A Clean San Diego for over 20 years. Cynthia Mallett began as an ILACSD intern, looking to gain experience in the environmental arena, back in 1990 while she was still in college. Cynthia says that, “volunteering for ILACSD gave me a good foundation of understanding different components of the solid waste arena and was the starting point of my environmental career.” Cynthia now works for the City of Oceanside Clean Water Program and for the past 5 years, has served as a Creek to Bay site captain, leading volunteers in cleaning up the areas around the Oceanside Pier. When asked why this site is important to her, Cynthia responded “I feel that it is very important to volunteer within the community that I live so that I feel like I am contributing to the improvement of my own community.”

With the 2012 Creek to Bay Cleanup just around the corner, we asked Cynthia what the strangest item she’s ever found at a cleanup was. She said that one year she found, “a plastic container in the shape of a tooth had a small human tooth inside.” You just never know what you’ll find at our cleanups!

All of us at ILACSD would like to thank Cynthia for her commitment to our organization and to cleaning up the environment here in San Diego!

Full Q & A with Cynthia Mallett  

What motivated you to volunteer with ILACSD?

When I was in college I was motivated to volunteer for ILACSD to get more experience in the environmental arena. I then secured an internship with the organization. Volunteering for ILACSD gave me a good foundation of understanding different components of the solid waste arena and was the starting point of my environmental career.

How long have you been volunteering with ILACSD?

I started volunteering for ILACSD in 1990 – 22 years ago.

How long have you been a site captain for Creek to Bay?

I have been a site captain for Creek to Bay for 5 years. I have been a captain at the Oceanside Pier site for over 20 years for either Creek to Bay or CA Coastal Cleanup Day. Since my employment at the City of Oceanside I also coordinate other cleanup sites throughout the year along Loma Alta Creek, Buena Vista Creek, and the San Luis Rey River. I recruit City staff and volunteers to assist at those sites while I am at the pier site.

Why is that site important to you?

I like to volunteer at the Oceanside pier site because this is the watershed in which I have lived for over 25 years – the San Luis Rey Watershed. I feel that it is very important to volunteer within the community that I live so that I feel like I am contributing to the improvement of my own community.

What is your favorite part of participating in the Creek to Bay cleanup?

I love to interact with the volunteers and share my experiences and expertise with them. I  also like to see the results of how much trash is removed from the waterways.

Why do you think cleanups like Creek to Bay are important to keeping San Diego healthy and clean?

Creek to Bay events are important to coordinate in order to keep our beaches and inland waterways healthy for humans and animals. They also:

  • Provide a great opportunity for residents to participate in an event that improves their community
  • Improve storm water awareness among individuals that may lead to improved water quality.
  • Help foster a sense of responsibility in protecting water quality.

What is the strangest piece of trash you’ve found at a Creek to Bay Cleanup?

During one cleanup a plastic container in the shape of a tooth had a small human tooth inside. I am assuming that this was probably one of the first teeth lost by a young child who cherished it so much that they brought it to the beach. And then the child lost it there.

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