Margarita Diaz

Margarita Diaz leads Tijuana Waterkeeper and its parent organization Proyecto Fronterizo de Educación Ambiental (Border Environmental Education Project in English). Margarita Díaz has a degree in Architecture from La Salle University in Mexico City as well as training in sustainable housing, renewable energies, pollution prevention and solid waste characterization. She worked with PFEA as Manager since 1993 and became Director in 2007.

She has successfully guided the organization to become the leading voice on freedom of information in Baja California, and the driving force of coastal cleanup, water quality monitoring and coastal conservation in Tijuana.

She has successfully mobilized more than 47,000  volunteers over 18 years, who have removed nearly 220 cubic tons of trash from the beaches, streams and rivers along the northern border of the state of Baja California, and in the process, has inspired them and their families to become stewards of their beaches and streams.

She has combined and strengthened the strategies of community right to know and water quality issues by both, speaking out before government officials about their obligation to be transparent about water quality data and carrying out citizen water quality monitoring as a means to provide public access to water quality information.

Over the years she has productively generated cross-border interfacing with government, community and multiple other actors to create regional and binational synergies to recommend policies, projects or actions related to watershed management and opportunities for joint efforts.

During her time at PFEA she has inspired countless young men and women to become stewards of their surrounding beaches and communities.  She has helped Tijuana’s residents to embrace the wealth of its coasts as part of their identity, and recognize their home as a true coastal community.

Margarita’s vision of a safe, clean and healthy coast and rivers, fuels her efforts and she believes the sum of people’s’ wills can overcome the many obstacles to social change requires for human and natural communities to flourish in these fragile zones.

Awards :

  • Coastal Champion Community Honoree,  San Diego Coastkeeper, 2009
  • Angel de la Tierra (Earth’s Angel), awarded by Fundación La Puerta, 2009
  • Premio al Mérito Ecológico (National Environmental Merit Award), SEMARNAT, 2010
  • U.S.-Mexico Cross-Border Cooperation and Innovation, Border Research Partnership of the Woodrow Wilson Center Mexico Institute, 2011.
  • River Hero, awarded by River Network, 2014
  • Forjadora 2014,  awarded by Grupo Madrugadores de Playas de Tijuana, A.C. 2015