If you are looking to brighten your day, read the stories of Coronado’s Emerald Keepers of the Month. These are the stories of people who truly care about Coronado and our oceans. They go above and beyond for our town – quietly under the radar. Our final 2020 Emerald Keeper of the Month is one of these incredible unsung heroes.
Meet Brianna Heinken, 2020 graduate of Coronado High School (CHS) who has penchant for service. A Navy Junior, Heinken moved to Coronado with her family when she was in fourth grade. Her long list of service is impressive. She was Co-President of the Coronado High School (CHS) Interact Club. She was the founder and president of the CHS Unicef Club and was the Secretary of the first CHS Emerald Keepers Club. Brianna also earned her Girl Scout Gold Award by designing a healthy lifestyles program incorporating tennis and nutrition at an orphanage in Tijuana for 50 children.
When Heinken learned about Emerald Keepers she was all in! She said, “It is important to create a more sustainable future. As we experience increasing amounts of harmful waste and pollution, Emerald Keepers’ provides crucial leadership to educate, implement projects, and advocate for the protection of our beach community and planet.”
“I am an Emerald Keeper because Emerald Keepers inspires me to continue learning and push myself to be the best global citizen that I can be,” said Heinken.
Heinken is the creator of Emerald Keepers’ Fact Friday found on Emerald Keepers’ social media platforms. She is always willing to write an article for Emerald Keepers to help educate her community.
A resident of the Naval Amphibious Base, Heinken noticed the large amounts of marine debris washed up on the beach behind her home. She immediately set to work to remove the trash. Brianna cleans the beach regularly. She understands the importance of removing the debris so the animals and shore birds that live in the bay and ocean do not ingest or become entangled.
Heinken said, “Coronado has been such a beautiful community to grow up in and helping preserve its beauty is the best way for me to give back to the community.”
Heinken is a freshman attending the University of Melbourne where she is working toward a Bachelors of Biomedicine with a major in Neurobiology. She will also receive a Diploma of Languages in Spanish. Like so many students around the world, her first semester was online. In January, Brianna will be moving to Australia to attend in-person classes. Even though she will be in the “Land Down Under,” Heinken plans to continue her work with Emerald Keepers. While the University of Melbourne may be almost 8000 miles away, the University has taken notice of her work with Emerald Keepers in Coronado. Heinken is the recipient of the University’s Leaders in Communities Award for 2020.
Yes, there are many stories to brighten your day found in our town. Heinken continues to be a shining star and will be truly missed in Coronado. She departs with a New Year’s resolution for everyone: “Sign the Emerald Keepers Pledge. Focus on small changes such as bringing utensils from home rather than using plastic utensils at work or bringing your own bags to the grocery store. These are simple ways to reduce environmental waste. Signing the Emerald Keepers’ Pledge is simply a commitment to yourself that you will do your best to take simple steps to a more sustainable life. If everyone does their part, we can make a big difference and keep our beautiful beach community clean.” To sign the Pledge, visit EmeraldKeepers.org.
Congratulations, Brianna Heinken, for being our Emerald Keeper of the Month. We wish you safe travels and happiness as you embark on your next adventure.