CERF is comprised of dedicated surfers, environmentalists, community members of all ages, activists, attorneys, and a cute dog named Brody. Whenever possible, if a sole activist reaches out to us from a community (especially in California) raising an environmental concern, we will at least attempt to provide them with some resources and basic advice as to how to prevent pollution in their area.
Marco Gonzalez, Founder and Executive Director
As an environmental and land use lawyer for more than 20 years, Marco has spent his entire career working for and alongside non-profit conservation and advocacy organizations. Prior to forming CERF, Marco established himself as a leader in the San Diego environmental community serving as the chairman of the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and Senior Staff Attorney for San Diego Coastkeeper. In 2004, Marco spearheaded the establishment of Coast Law Group LLP, one of San Diego’s foremost environmental litigation firms, where he continues to oversee environmental litigation and related programs. In addition to his efforts for the planet, Marco has worked extensively on the business side of the action sports industry representing investors, businesses, athletes, and media in surfing, skateboarding, cycling, and snow sports.
Livia Beaudin, Legal Director
Livia has been an attorney for CERF since 2009 and overseas CERF’s Clean Water Act citizen-suit enforcement, climate change and California Environmental Quality Act matters. Livia received a law degree from University of California San Diego and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California San Diego.
Sara Kent, Programs Director
Sara Kent has been an environmental activist for much of her life, beginning in high school as one of the only homes in her small Northern Maine town to implement recycling bins for her family (and hugging plenty of Maine trees). Professionally, she has served as an environmental liaison to coordinate efforts between several San Diego environmental nonprofits. Sara has served on the Board of Directors for the Cleveland National Forest Foundation since 2009, and has been actively engaged in promoting transit and urban infill.
Board of Directors
CERF’s Board of Directors is comprised of a variety of professional environmental advocates and individuals who enjoy recreating in wild spaces, and each member shares CERF’s values of environmental protection.
An environmental activist since the early 1980s, Frye is known for her commitment to clean water. She and her husband, Skip Frye, founded Surfer's Tired of Pollution, which initiated efforts to establish statewide water monitoring standards, worked with San Diego County and City using DNA analysis to determine the source of bacteria from storm drains, and partnered with the County Department of Environmental Health to establish the Ocean Illness Survey. Frye also successfully worked to strengthen San Diego City policies related to polluted runoff, including the initiation of the posting of warning signs in front of storm drains, the monitoring of discharges at storm drain outfalls, and the diversion of dry weather low-flow runoff into the sewer system.
Frye is also a founding member and president emerita of Californians Aware, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and defend open government. She received the Beacon Award in 2004 from the First Amendment Coalition and Sunshine Award in 2011 from the San Diego Society of Professional Journalists for her work in open government. Also in 2011, she was inducted into the San Diego Women's Hall of Fame. There is an annual award given by the Environmental Health Coalition entitled the “Donna Frye Spirit of Justice” award.
After obtaining degrees in Marine Biology and Oceanography, she worked as Marine Conservation Program Manager for San Diego Coastkeeper helping the State design Marine Protected Areas from 2006 – 2011. She then expanded the focus of her career and is a professional Facilitator/Mediator supporting numerous government agencies and NGOs on marine and coastal issues, water supply and management, natural resource management, and climate adaptation planning. Her adoration for the marine world guides her work to protect and support wildlife and the environment
Prior to joining Coastkeeper in January 2014, Matt represented grass-roots environmental groups in the federal, state, and local arenas. He has experience in areas such as the Clean Water Act and NPDES permits, land use and growth management laws, CEQA, the Endangered Species Act, groundwater, soils, sediment remediation, and environmental justice, to name a few. By utilizing strategic partnerships, local, state, and national laws and regulations, as well as guiding the community engagement, education, and science work that Coastkeeper uses to tackle local environmental problems, Matt leads the organization in its mission to protect and restore San Diego County’s waterways and move towards safe, clean water for our region.
Matt currently serves as Legal Committee Chair and Board Member of the California Coastkeeper Alliance. A graduate of University of Colorado School of Law and Rutgers University, Matt is actively licensed to practice law in California, Florida, and Washington State.