San Diego Coastkeeper Accomplishments

In 2015, we celebrate our 20th year protecting and restoring fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. That's celebrateable. Our important work keeps the natural spaces where you live, work, and play, clean and healthy for 20 more years of enjoyment. We hope you enjoy reading these top accomplishments that we've achieved with your support, and recognize and reward yourself for supporting this good work through the decades--these major and worthwhile achievements take time. Haven't gotten involved yet? Donate today to keep these good things coming for San Diego County.

REDUCED BEACH ADVISORIES

San Diego Coastkeeper helped reduce countywide beach advisories by 77 percent in the ten years since 2000 by improving sewage and urban runoff policies, leading to cleaner, safer water.

SECURED MARINE PROTECTED AREAS

We successfully advocated for adoption of strong marine protected areas (MPAs) in Southern California including Swami's, which is San Diego County's largest MPA as a 12.6-square-mile conservation area, and south La Jolla, a 7.5-square-mile MPA complex that includes a 4.7-square-mile marine reserve where no fishing is allowed.

BANNED PLASTIC PRODUCTS THAT POLLUTE

Pushed the City of San Diego to restrict its use of single-use plastic water bottles and plastic foam products. And won the nation's first statewide plastic bag ban, which we continue to defend against the lobbyists trying to overturn it.

CLEANED BEACHES

San Diego Coastkeeper and partner organizations have removed more than one million pounds of debris from area beaches and waterways. Since 2007, we have completed more than 200 beach cleanups and grown yearly volunteer numbers to more than 7,000.

EDUCATED KIDS WITH PROJECT SWELL

We provide Project SWELL (Stewardship: Water Education for Lifelong Leadership) hands-on environmental science lessons and materials to teachers in 160 elementary and middle schools in San Diego County.

IMPROVED THE HEALTH OF SAN DIEGO BAY

Won a regulatory ruling to close the ecosystem-damaging South Bay Power Plantafter a decade-long fight alongside our allies. Then we pushed the Regional Water Quality Control Board to order longtime polluters to conduct a massive cleanup of their toxic pollution at the bottom of San Diego Bay.

WON PURE WATER IN CITY OF SAN DIEGO

Earned a unanimous San Diego City Council vote to reduce ocean discharge from Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant and implement a large-scale water recycling system. The plant could supply up to one-third of the city's drinking water needs and will reduce environmentally costly imports from the San Joaquin River Delta and Colorado River.

REDUCED SEWAGE SPILLS

A San Diego Coastkeeper lawsuit pushed the City of San Diego to invest $1 billion in infrastructure upgrades, which reduced sewage spills by 90 percent. In 2011, our volunteers identified a 1.9-million gallon sewage spill in Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, and our action resulted in a $12-million infrastructure investment by the City of San Diego to prevent future spills.

RUN THE STATE'S LARGEST VOLUNTEER WATER QUALITY MONITORING PROGRAM

San Diego Coastkeeper's program is the state's largest volunteer water quality monitoring program. It trains around 100 volunteers yearly to test fresh water quality from Oceanside to the Tijuana River, in nine of the 11 watersheds in San Diego County. To date, San Diego Coastkeeper has trained more than 1,000 water quality monitoring volunteers.

BEST STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

In 1999, Coastkeeper negotiated with the City of Encinitas, leading it to establish its first stormwater pollution prevention plan. Since then, we have strongly influenced regional stormwater permits, most recently achieving a unique watershed-based permit in 2013 that allows cities and agencies in the San Diego region to work together to reduce pollution.

WON FASTER BEACH WATER QUALITY TESTING

Coastkeeper introduced the region to a new technology that resulted in San Diego County and Senator Marty Block successfully passing a statewide bill that approved faster beach water quality testing. When it's implemented, this process could allow water quality warnings within two to four hours rather than 24 hours.

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Donate to San Diego Coastkeeper

Donate to San Diego Coastkeeper

With you, we can protect San Diego’s aquatic playgrounds. Gifts of every size help us defend your salty seas and beautiful bays. From test tubes in our lab to hands-on...

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Water Quality 2014 - More Impacts from t…

Water Quality 2014 - More Impacts from the Drought

In 2014: Looks like San Diego's drought affects more than water quantity—and we have the data to show it. We proudly announce the results of our 2014 Water Quality Monitoring efforts, and...

Water Quality 2014: San Luis Rey Watersh…

Water Quality 2014: San Luis Rey Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 77, Fair We tracked two parameters of concern in San Luis Rey Watershed: Turbidity: Two-thirds of the turbidity samples exceeded healthy standards Levels of pH: Over half of the...

Water Quality 2014: Carlsbad Watershed

Water Quality 2014: Carlsbad Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 72, Fair To no surprise, our 2014 data showed that: Nitrate is consistently high in upper Escondido Creek In fact, four of the five samples with the highest nitrate...

Water Quality 2014: San Dieguito Watersh…

Water Quality 2014: San Dieguito Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 76, Fair Our data in San Dieguito Watershed show: Ammonia, phosphorus, and turbidity measuring at marginal on our Water Quality Index Scores Ammonia and phosphorus are nutrients. In the...

Water Quality 2014: Los Peñasquitos Wate…

Water Quality 2014: Los Peñasquitos Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 76, Fair Well, here it is: the most typical, average watershed in San Diego County in terms of water quality pollution and health. Our data in this...

Water Quality 2014: San Diego Watershed

Water Quality 2014: San Diego Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 62, Marginal 2014 was not a good year for the San Diego River. It dropped two levels on our Water Quality Index score, moving from Good in...

Water Quality 2014: Pueblo Watershed

Water Quality 2014: Pueblo Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 64, Marginal A few key takeaways from our Pueblo Watershed data: Chollas River sites often had very high phosphorus and ammonia Volunteers found and removed lots of trash from...

Water Quality 2014: Sweetwater Watershed

Water Quality 2014: Sweetwater Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 62, Marginal Our data in Sweetwater Watershed showed: Very low dissolved oxygen levels Usually high ammonia and phosphorus concentrations Again, another watershed indicative of extremely low water flows creating high...

Water Quality 2014: Otay Watershed

Water Quality 2014: Otay Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 53, Marginal If we're going to call Los Penasquitos the average watershed example of San Diego County, we're going to call Otay Watershed the most consistent watershed...

Water Quality 2014: Tijuana Watershed

Water Quality 2014: Tijuana Watershed

Water Quality Index Score: 12, Poor Let's acknowledge that we only gathered one sample from the Tijuana Watershed in 2014. Thankfully, the Tijuana-based sewage treatment plant handles and purifies 50 million...

Fixable Facts

  • San Diego Coastkeeper's efforts have helped to reduce the number of sewage spills by 90% since 2001.
  • San Diego Coastkeeper and the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation conduct twice-monthly beach cleanups. We work with more than 4,000 volunteers each year.
  • In 2008 and 2009, Coastkeeper and our north county partners successfully advocated for significant fines (totaling $2 million) for spills in Buena Vista Lagoon and Escondido Creek.
  • It's in order: reduce, reuse THEN recycle.
  • Each year Coastkeeper brings together nearly 5,000 cleanup volunteers to remove more than 7,000 pounds of trash.
  • San Diego Coastkeeper has trained over 700 volunteer water quality monitors.
  • A "consent decree" is a legal tool that provides an enforceable timeline and milestones for pollution cleanup and prevention.
  • Coastkeeper volunteers removed over 560 pounds of trash from Mission Bay on a single morning in October 2013.
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SAN DIEGO COASTKEEPER
2825 Dewey Rd., Ste. 200 • San Diego CA 92106 • TEL. 619.758.7743