Mission and Goals

The mission of Sustainable Del Rey Oaks: To meet the challenges of declining resources and climate change by helping our community embrace sustainable practices.
We strive to do this by pursuing the following goals:
  • Collaborate with our city’s elected officials, local government agencies, and businesses on the adoption of sustainable practices and policies.
  • Enhance the community’s connection with nature and inspire the public to protect the natural world.
  • Educate and promote actions on local sustainability issues, including land use, energy, transportation, waste, and water, both marine and fresh.
  • Foster connections to other local and regional groups and agencies.

Unique Characteristics

The community of Del Rey Oaks, incorporated in 1953 and with a population of about 1,600, is nestled in a canyon between Seaside and Monterey. We take pride in our safe, family- and pet-friendly neighborhoods, our annual citywide picnic and garage sale, our parks and green spaces. We are diverse, with professionals and civil servants, business owners and entrepreneurs, retirees and young families who call our city their home.
Flowing creeks in semi-arid Mediterranean climates are special places for plants, animals, and people. Arroyo del Rey is one of the only perennial creeks in the Monterey Bay area north of the Monterey Peninsula. Running the length of the city, it can be accessed at Del Rey Park and Work Memorial Park. From there it passes through Laguna Grande Park in Seaside and Roberts Lake in Monterey on its way to the sea.
The gem of Del Rey Oaks is the 17-acre Frog Pond Wetland Preserve (Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District), home to Pacific tree frogs and a favorite spot for dog walkers and birders seeking out resident species and rare migratory visitors. The ¾-mile loop trail brings you through local sagebrush, a willow canopy, and a small grove of redwoods. Located just off Canyon Del Rey Blvd., the Frog Pond Wetland Preserve provides a welcome natural respite from the busy world. Another popular recreation spot is Del Rey Park, located in back of and below City Hall. It offers facilities for large get-togethers, as well as children’s play areas, a basketball court and baseball field, bocce courts, and a dog park.

Who We Are

Karen Harris
Co-Founder, SDRO, Co-Chair, Steering Committee

Karen has been a Del Rey Oaks resident since 1997 with her husband, Dirk Harris. Her BS in marine biology from Texas A&M at Galveston first brought her to the Monterey Peninsula in 1983, when the Monterey Bay Aquarium was being built. She was employed at Monterey One Water (formerly Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency) for 28 and a half years, working as a lab analyst, an industrial waste inspector, and, for 17 years, as the agency’s community relations specialist. She was on the board of the Water Awareness Committee of Monterey County, Inc., for many years, including serving as chair. She managed several Water Awareness Day community events at the Monterey County Fairgrounds and Del Monte Shopping Center. In addition, she has been a volunteer diver at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for over 30 years and performs feeding shows in the Kelp Forest. Helping connect people to make things happen is her passion. Ask her about sustainable shrimp culture!

Alison Kerr
Co-Founder, SDRO; Mayor of Del Rey Oaks 2018–2022; Steering Committee Co-Chair

Alison has called Del Rey Oaks home for over 30 years and proudly served as the city’s first female mayor. She recently retired from managing the STEM Internship Program she created at the Naval Postgraduate School. Her career at NPS began as a program manager for an interdisciplinary institute, where one of her first projects was energy as a national security issue, working with world-renowned climate experts and intergovernmental organizations to change the culture in the navy. As a Master Gardener, you can probably find her with her hands in the dirt.


Kevin Raskoff
Recording Secretary

Kevin is a 20-year resident of Del Rey Oaks, where he lives with his wife, Kim, and their two children, Alex and Sophia.  He earned his BS in ecology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and his PhD in biology from UCLA. He is the Biology Department chair at Monterey Peninsula College and teaches environmental science, marine biology, and ecology, biodiversity, and evolution.  He is the faculty advisor for the MPC student Environmental Club and on the board of directors for the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District.


Carol Kaplan
Membership Coordinator

 Carol is a 47-year resident of Del Rey Oaks, where she raised her three children. She is a former city council member. A dozen years ago she began a group at her church, Care for Creation, that educates parishioners about environmental issues, conducts a monthly beach cleanup, and sponsors speakers on ecological issues. A Master Gardener, she does volunteer gardening at St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista. Carol is retired after working as a Marriage and Family Therapist.


Anne Canright

Anne has lived in Del Rey Oaks since 1990 with her husband David, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School (now retired), and (currently) two cats and a goldendoodle. She has degrees in geography (BA and PhD, UCLA), cartography (MS, University of Wisconsin), and creative nonfiction (MFA, Antioch University–Los Angeles). She works as a freelance copyeditor/proofreader for university presses and museums nationwide. Locally, Anne volunteers with the Ventana Wilderness Alliance/USFS as a wilderness ranger. 


Anne Auburn

Anne moved to the Monterey Peninsula in 1980 and settled in Carmel Valley, where she established a successful business, Crème de la Crème Pastry and Catering. Upon selling the business in 1990, she traveled with her family to international destinations. This led to becoming general manager for a live-aboard scuba dive ship in the Fiji Islands and establishing ecological standards for the diving industry, as well as setting up a marine sanctuary. In all, she has traveled to or lived in over 40 countries. This experience refined her awareness of sustainable and regenerative approaches to the ocean, the land, and communities. Her devotion to the environment has been integrated with the leadership support she provides to global humanitarian agencies, such as UNICEF, UNOPS, UNAID, and WFP, where she is an executive leadership coach to national leaders. She also provides coaching to top-tier executives at global corporations including AWS, Schneider Electronics, BNP Paribas Bank, Microsoft, and Starbucks through an online platform based in Berlin.

Locally, Anne has provided coaching services to develop future executive directors and board members for the LEAD Institute, Center for Nonprofit Excellence for Monterey County. She served on the Executive Committee for Tourism with Visit California and launched the International EcoTourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference here in 2012.

Upon returning to the area in 2018, Anne decided to settle in Del Rey Oaks and is loving living just a block from the Frog Pond. This area, with its natural wonders, feeds her passion for photography and hiking.