Long Term Actions Demonstrate Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Turtle Island Restoration Network, its programs (including SPAWN, and its staff and Board have a long history and continuing commitment of promoting opportunities for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in its work.  This includes BIPOC communities, Tribal councils and governments, economically disadvantages communities, and other groups typically underrepresented in the environmental field.

Here are some examples:


  • Marin American Indian Alliance TURTLE ISLAND AWARD to SPAWN (in 2000)—participation in ceremonial celebration.
  • Marin’s Salmon Blessing Ceremony- SPAWN has help to initiate and promote and participate in this annual event at Lagunitas Creek that is co-sponsored by the Coastal Miwok Tribal Council.
  • SPAWN is working with the Coastal Miwok Tribal Council (Huuikioku INC), providing collaboration to increase their visibility in Lagunitas Watershed and nationally through media, providing some fiscal sponsorship for their recent land purchase to support their cultural activities, providing tours and access to SPAWN native plant facilities, and offering opportunities for collaboration to incorporate indigenous knowledge in TIRN’s management of its Lagunitas watershed properties.
  • Collaboration with Graton Rancheria on habitat restoration projects including modification of projects to meet tribal concerns to ensure protections of sacred cultural sites, working with the tribe to ensure a full-time tribal monitor during habitat construction, and coordination on media around these projects. We have also located native artifacts during monitoring activities in the watershed and have worked with the tribe to recover them.  We have invited and secured guest speakers at TIRN events including Nick Tipon, member of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.  We have invited members of the tribe to join our Board of Directors and provide us with recommendations of indigenous youth to join our internship program.
  • Internship program—Instituted financial stipends to increase DEI outreach by making it easier for economically disadvantage youth to participate. SPAWN is actively recruiting BIPOC interns through outreach to junior colleges and community colleges, BIPOC environmental NGOs, and Tribal governments.
  • SPAWN is a participant in Petaluma Blacks for Community Development events.
  • We have provided Latino Outdoors members with Creek restoration tours and involvement in our restoration activities and hope to continue and expand this relationship.
  • National Association of Black Scuba Divers—outreach for collaboration of TIRN’s citizen science turtle and shark research.
  • Economically Disadvantaged school EE- BWET grant and others (awaiting details)
  • Provided free credentialed naturalist course and certification for local leaders of BIPOC environmental groups including Latino Outdoors, Outdoor Afro, Brown  Girls Surf, Brothers on the Rise, and San Francisco Parks Alliance, among others.

Gulf of Mexico

Numerous collaborative efforts across the five Gulf states and Puerto Rico to support frontline and fence-line communities impacted by the petrochemical, LNG and plastic buildout. These communities have been impacted by toxic pollution, lack of enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies and the impacts of climate change.

Our partners include Native American Original People and Black and Brown people, including:

  • The Society of Native Nations
  • Indigenous People of the Coastal Bend
  • Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas
  • Better Brazoria for Clean Air and Clean Water
  • Port Arthur Community Action Network (PACAN)
  • Rise St. James
  • LA Bucket Brigade
  • Break Free From Plastics
  • The Vessel Project
  • For a Better Bayou


TIRN International work historically includes working with and supporting indigenous peoples working to protect their coastal regions from development, including with:

  • Nahautl people in Mexico
  • indigenous Australians
  • Papua New Guineans

Annual Staff & Board Surveys to Monitor Success in Increasing DEI (January 2023)

  • Current staff—75% women, 25% people of color
  •  Board—50% women, 25% people of color

Board member other service to increase TIRN’s DEI include:

  • Chairperson of North Bay Japanese American Citizens League Civil Rights Committee
  • Founding member of Sonoma/Marin County NAACP Environmental Justice Committee
  • Board member Conservation Corps North Bay