Our Story

San_Diego_Coastkeeper_historyOur StoryOur Mission

San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County.

Our Vision

Swimmable, fishable and drinkable waters throughout San Diego County.

Our Values

In striving to achieve our mission, San Diego Coastkeeper seeks always (in all ways) to be:

  • Impactful: Addressing the root issues affecting our inland and coastal waters with a solutions-oriented approach that recognizes the connections between people and the natural world
  • Thoughtful: Basing our decisions and actions on the best available scientific, legal and public policy rationale, while being respectful of those who disagree with our views
  • Courageous: Being a zealous advocate for those positions we believe are right and necessary, even when unpopular
  • Transparent: Providing the public with the rationale for our decisions and actions in a straightforward fashion to help raise the level of public discourse about the important issues in which we engage
  • Innovative: Harnessing the power of San Diego's high tech and academic communities to develop and implement novel solutions to environmental problems
  • Collaborative: Engaging broad-based coalitions in our work to enhance effectiveness while empowering local communities to steward our shared environment
  • Passionate: Caring about the work we do and the waters we protect, ensuring that generations to come will be able to better enjoy the region's resources
  • Exemplary: Serving as role models for protecting the environment in both our personal and professional lives

Our Plan

Download San Diego Coastkeeper's 2012-2015 strategic plan to learn more about our goals and what San Diego waters and communities have to look forward to.

Our History

The concept of Waterkeeper dates to a 19th-century English tradition, where Riverkeepers physically guarded private streams to ensure waters remained healthy and free of poachers. In 1982, Hudson River fisherman became concerned about the modern poacher: pollution. They started the first Waterkeeper organization in the United States, and proved so effective at protecting water resources that Waterkeeper organizations trickled throughout the country.

Once established, we became the 15th Waterkeeper organization in the country and focused our efforts on local, community-based advocacy. We began in 1995 as a two-person team combating the chronic pollution and toxic dumping into San Diego Bay, hence our original name: San Diego Baykeeper. Today, as San Diego Coastkeeper, we continue our roll as the region's clean water watchdogs as we help the identify solutions to a new myriad problems such as water supply challenges and urban runoff. 

img_1615-copy-sPhoto Credit Kevin Roche

We use community outreach, education and advocacy to empower San Diegans to guard their clean water and healthy ecosystem, relying on you to help us find and fix pollution hazards. Our team of scientists, activists, educators and lawyers work with our community and decision-makers to protect and restore fishable, swimmable and drinkable water in San Diego County.

Today, San Diego Coastkeeper is a proud member of the California Coastkeeper Alliance as well as the International Waterkeeper Alliance. On both a state and a global level, our alliances connect and support Waterkeeper organizations as a voice for clean water and healthy communities. The International Waterkeeper Alliance, headed by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., stands nearly 200 programs strong- making it one of the world's fastest growing environmental movements.

Community support and involvement has transformed us into the organization we are today—just take a look at our long list of accomplishments. Please continue to empower us on social media and follow our blog to keep up with events, opportunities to take action and sharing of environmental wisdom. If this isn't enough, check out ways you can get involved.

 

Take Action

Donate Now

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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Become a Member

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Start Coastkeeping. Become a member today and protect and restore swimmable, fishable and drinkable waters in San Diego County.

 

Report a Problem

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Catch the Polluters

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

Attend an Event

May
9

9:00 am - 11:00 am

May
16

9:00 am - 11:00 am

May
16

11:00 am - 3:00 pm

May
17

10:00 am - 4:00 pm

May
23

9:00 am - 11:00 am

Get the News

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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...

Protectable Facts

  • Although there have been periods of drastic decline in Southern California's kelp forests, research has shown that they have a remarkable ability to recover when stressors are reduced.
  • More than 250 marine reserves have been established worldwide.
  • Marine reserves cover less than .01 percent of the ocean worldwide.
  • Scientists studied more than 120 marine reserves ranging in size and habitats. The review found that the weight of all animals and plants studied is more than 4 times larger in reserves than unprotected areas.
  • The Marine Life Protection Act, a state law introduced in 1999, requires networks of marine reserves as the backbone for California's ocean restoration and protection plan.
  • California designated thirty-four regions along the coast in the 1970s as "Area of Special Biological Significance (ASBS)" and requires 100% runoff pollution prevention in them.
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SAN DIEGO COASTKEEPER
2825 Dewey Rd., Ste. 200 • San Diego CA 92106 • TEL. 619.758.7743