San Diego Coastkeeper Accomplishments

San Diego Coastkeeper has helped reduce countywide beach advisories by 77 percent since 2000. We accomplished this through improving sewage and urban runoff policies.

Led coalition effort advocating for adoption of strong marine protected areas (MPAs) in Southern California including Swamis, 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.

Historically, San Diego Coastkeeper and its partner organizations have helped remove more than one million pounds of debris from area beaches and waterways.  Since 2007, San Diego Coastkeeper and Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Chapter have completed more than 200 beach cleanups and grown yearly volunteer numbers to more than 4,600

San Diego Coastkeeper has helped educate more than 210,000 children through Project SWELL; more than 60,000 students each year. Since Project SWELL was introduced in the San Diego Unified School District, along with other science reforms, science scores have increased dramatically throughout the district.

Supported coalition effort, led by Environmental Health Coalition, that resulted (after a decade of advocacy) in regulatory ruling that will allow for the closure of South Bay Power Plant. The plant has damaged the sensitive South Bay ecosystem for decades.

Forced City of San Diego to invest ~$14M in a demonstration project to prove the viability of reclaiming wastewater to augment local drinking water supplies and regional assessment to identify opportunities to develop water reclamation capacity throughout San Diego. Potable reuse could provide one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly options to enhance local water supplies.

San Diego Coastkeeper has helped the City of San Diego reduce sewage spills by 90 percent since 2001. In 2011, our volunteers indentified a three-million gallon sewage spill in Los Penasquitos Lagoon. Our action resulted in new sewage infrastructure investments by the City of San Diego to prevent future spills.

San Diego Coastkeeper’s program is the state’s largest volunteer water quality monitoring program. It trains more than around 100 volunteers yearly to test waters 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.

Coastkeeper played an important role in ensuring the Regional Board issued a strong stormwater permit for San Diego County in 2001 and again in 2013. Coastkeeper helped the City of Encinitas, which formerly had no stormwater plan, to become a national leader in reducing and managing urban runoff.

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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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If you see someone pollute, report it to Coastkeeper. Let us help you protect your waters.

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Aug 09, 2014 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Carlsbad - Tamarack State Beach Cleanup


Aug 16, 2014 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Monthly Water Quality Monitoring


Aug 23, 2014 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Pacific Beach Drive Cleanup

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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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2825 Dewey Rd., Ste. 200 • San Diego CA 92106 • TEL. 619.758.7743