Solana Beach Eco Rotary Club holding virtual meetings

The club visited the San Elijo Lagoon Treatment Water Facility.

Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the five-year-old Solana Beach Eco Rotary Club is holding virtual gatherings to continue expanding its reach.

“The club’s mission statement is to educate ourselves and our communities about environmental challenges and engage in implementing their solutions,” said Dick Stevens, who currently serves as the organization’s treasurer. “Most of our club meetings, presently on Zoom, revolve around living sustainability in one way or another.”

The Eco Rotary Club’s philosophy is “service above self,” according to its website, and its goal is to promote sustainability throughout Southern California.

Pivoting to Zoom events to replace their usual in-person meetings, club members participated in a March presentation by Mary Yang titled “Plastics, Climate Change and Local Policy.” Matt Clark, president and CEO of nonprofit Nature and Culture International, discussed the conservation work his group does in Latin America.

During a May 19 meeting, two students from Ocean Knoll School talked about how they worked with officials at their school district to solve a stormwater problem. Two other students from Flora Vista School talked about a Trash Amendment Action Plan they were part of.

Before shelter-in-place and other public health guidelines were put in effect to stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the club also made trips to facilities in Escondido, Orange County and other places to learn more about work being done to support the environment.

Growing steadily over the past few years, the Eco Rotary Club now has almost 30 members.

“By next year we’ll probably reach 30-35,” Stevens said. “I would hope in the next two to three years to be up to 50 members, possibly more.”

Some of the worldwide efforts it supports include eradicating polio, distributing clean drinking water and reducing poverty.

Through the Solana Beach Eco Rotary Club Foundation, a nonprofit, the group pursues service projects that advance and raise awareness of their environmental goals. The Eco Club also partners with similar groups to address climate change, sustainability and other related issues.

The foundation usually donates $1,000 to $3,000 per year to other nonprofits, according to its website. The programs it operates support causes such as disaster relief, clean water, sanitation in Cambodia, literacy for low-income children, education for students in Mexico and a mock UN general assembly for students.

Stevens added that the club will continue pursuing opportunities to make a difference locally. For more information, visit or