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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More San Diego Teachers Are Getting SWEL…

More San Diego Teachers Are Getting SWELL!

Project SWELL has been busy preparing San Diego’s future leaders to understand the role of water in our region and in our future by preparing those who teach them to...

The Water Authority Misses the Mark...Ag…

The Water Authority Misses the Mark...Again

It probably won’t surprise you that as San Diego Coastkeeper’s Waterkeeper I spend a lot of my time thinking about water- the best sources, the best methods and the best...

Educators Come Together to Discuss Scien…

Educators Come Together to Discuss Science Curricula, Including Project Swell

San Diego Coastkeeper recently had the exciting opportunity to take part in the San Diego Science Educators Association conference. The conference serves as an opportunity for educators of all grade...

Tank that Leak: A Quick Fix to Save Wate…

Tank that Leak: A Quick Fix to Save Water

"Fix A Leak Week" ended. I'm pretty sure that some of us still have a leak or two that can be fixed, though, and that will save thousands upon thousands...

Single Use Can Mean Permanent Harm

Single Use Can Mean Permanent Harm

After every beach cleanup we are hit with ample evidence of the ubiquity of paper and plastic products in our everyday lives. It is quite clear that these products are...

What A Waste: The Hidden Waste of Water …

What A Waste: The Hidden Waste of Water Leaks

Did you know that March 17-23 is Fix a Leak Week? Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this week brings attention to water leaks, which are a serious concern, especially...

San Diego's Waters Deserve Our Best

San Diego's Waters Deserve Our Best

The following was written by Coastkeeper’s Jo Brooks and Everett Delano of our board of directors in response to a February 23 U-T San Diego editorial that criticized stormwater runoff...

What's A Little Rain When You Have A Mys…

What's A Little Rain When You Have A Mystery to Solve?

Despite the stormy Friday morning weather, my water quality partner and I were excited to get to the bottom of a still unsolved mystery—the sources of urban runoff. Because rain...

Weather Doesn't Dampen Resolve to Get An…

Weather Doesn't Dampen Resolve to Get Answers

While most of you were trying to stay dry and cozy during this past storm, several intrepid volunteers offered to brave the elements and help us figure out the source...

Project SWELL Inspires Students & Te…

Project SWELL Inspires Students & Teachers Alike

When should you start your environmental education? No matter what your age, the answer is always right now! At a recent Project SWELL workshop, San Diego area 6th graders discovered...

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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