Elaine Sevin, a lifelong Miami Beach resident and one-time teacher who created programs to teach children about ocean conservation, died Friday at her home of ALS: Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was 68.
In January, the 7th Coast Guard District in Miami Beach gave Sevin its Meritorious Public Service Award for her “tireless efforts to advance environmental stewardship,’’ and her donations of “tens of thousands of dollars worth of materials to tailor presentations to specific maritime ecosystems,’’ such as coral reef habitats.
Sevin, born Oct. 4, 1943, graduated from the University of Miami. With son Scott Sevin, she ran 7-Dippity, an educational-materials company that produces books, T-shirts, stickers, teaching guides and school fund-raising products.
Most involve health, safety and the environment.
She founded the company in 1980 after breaking her back while lifting a table during Homecoming preparations at Miami Beach High. She was a physical education teacher at the school, which was also her alma mater.
With her daughter Jennifer Sevin, she created the Coast Guard’s Officer Snook Water Pollution Program, starring a cartoon fish in a police hat. Elaine Sevin helped the Coast Guard run the program nationally.
“We talk about the causes and effects and solutions of pollution,” Elaine Sevin told The Miami Herald during a 2007 North Bay Village Conservation Day program. “We go into schools, pre-K to high school. We talk about animals that eat garbage” floating in polluted waters.
His mother “has always been active in the community and with charities helping others,’’ Scott Sevin said in an email. “She started the Lifetime Activities program at Miami Beach Senior High while she taught there. She volunteered time and worked with organizations like the Police Athletic League, United Way, Girl Scouts, Environmental Education Providers of Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade Schools — so many I can’t even think.’’
She established the North Florida and South Florida Military Peer Support Initiatives, which promote long-term mental health services for Iraq/Afghanistan military families and Florida Army National Guard veterans; the Helping Children Cope with the Challenges of War and Terrorism Project with United Way of America; the Twin Towers Fund Suicide Prevention Project for 9/11 World Trade Center Responders; and the After the Storm Project for Hurricane Katrina survivors.
In addition to her children, Sevin is survived by her husband of 42 years, Norman Sevin, and brothers Murray Rubin and Stuart Rubin, all of South Florida.
Funeral services will be 9 a.m. Tuesday at Blasberg-Rubin-Zilbert Memorial Chapel, 720 71st St., Miami Beach. Private burial follows.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Youth Environmental Programs, Inc., 1313 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 301, Coral Gables, FL 33134.