October 28 – San Diego Coastkeeper Swears in 200 Honorary Lifetime Members at World Water Monitoring Day in La Jolla

Children learn about environmental science, ocean conservation at Birch Aquarium

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 6, 2011 – On Saturday, September 17, around 10,000 volunteers will visit 90 coastal and inland cleanup sites for a one-day attack on marine debris and inland pollution. This year, Coastal Cleanup Day coordinators I Love A Clean San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper highlight on their website several green “in need” cleanup sites, where data from the annual event show a higher demand for volunteers. To reduce the event’s carbon footprint and individual waste, organizers also ask volunteers to select local sites in their own communities and to bring reusable buckets, bags, work gloves and water bottles.
“Trash travels from inland communities into storm drains which empty into our canyons, creek beds and eventually the ocean,” said Pauline Martinson, Executive Director for I Love A Clean San Diego. “That’s why it’s especially important for volunteers to lend a hand in their local neighborhood—our entire county needs a cleaning.”
To encourage participation in areas that need extra hands, San Diego’s Coastal Cleanup Day website, www.cleanupday.org features “in need” sites labeled in green in areas such as Clairemont, Normal Heights, City Heights, La Mesa, Tijuana River Valley and more. These sites were identified based on data from previous cleanups, indicating that some inland sites recover more debris as well as larger items such as tires, couches, and more.
“A recent statewide survey shows that this event significantly increases knowledge about the causes of marine debris—and that’s the first step in stopping the problem,” said Alicia Glassco, Education and Marine Debris Manager at Coastkeeper. “We see Coastal Cleanup Day as a hands-on educational event that connects residents to their neighborhood while removing harmful debris.”
I Love A Clean San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper also ask volunteers to reduce their carbon footprint while participating in the event. Instead of traveling long distance to a site, volunteers should stay at their local cleanup locations and remember to bring their own reusable bag or bucket, work gloves and water bottle.
Last year in San Diego County, volunteer involvement rose to approximately 9,000 participants, with another 3,000 volunteers lending their support across the border in the U.S./Mexico-shared Tijuana Watershed. Volunteers removed close to 100 tons of debris from more than 80 cleanup sites along the coastline and in canyons, creek beds, lagoons, estuaries and open spaces.
This year, volunteers should register on the San Diego County event website at www.cleanupday.org. The website includes an interactive Google Map with all cleanup sites in the region, including a handful of green “in need” sites. Sites where registration is at capacity are denoted in red. Information for children, scouts, and groups are also available on the website.

SAN DIEGO, CA – October 28, 2011—San Diego Coastkeeper Executive Director Gale Filter swore in about 200 children as honorary lifetime members at today’s World Water Monitoring Day. In conjunction with Sister Schools of San Diego, Coastkeeper hosted the 10th Annual event at Birch Aquarium to help children understand their role in preserving water quality across the world. The event featured environmental and ocean themed educational activities for the school children from San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, and concluded a student water monitoring program in seven countries.

“World Water Monitoring Day allows students to join together and take a hands-on approach to understanding the value of clean water for people, plants and wildlife,” said Liz Hinkle, Director of San Diego Sister Schools.  “Over 500 students in San Diego County and hundreds more around the world will use test kits to monitor water quality in rivers and the ocean near their homes. Students will share their data with others around the world to illustrate the international importance of protecting water quality for which we are all responsible.”

During World Water Monitoring Day, students rotated through a number of interactive water education activities including Coastkeeper’s Water Quality Monitoring and Edible Aquifer, I Love A Clean San Diego‘s Watershed Models, San Diego River Park Foundation’s Bioassesment lesson, Birch Aquarium’s Ocean Acidification lesson and the San Diego County Office of Education’s Splash Lab and Green Machine. This year’s event celebrated public stewardship of water quality and conservation, the importance of clean water in the San Diego Region and educating youth on watershed protection and the value of World Water Monitoring Day.

“It’s essential to connect children to water quality issues in their backyard and across the globe,” said Erin Reynante, San Diego’s Coastkeeper’s Outreach Coordinator. “With World Water Monitoring Day, we’re helping tomorrow’s leaders understand how they can make a difference in protecting and preserving San Diego’s natural resources now.”

The event brings attention to World Water Monitoring Day, which is an international outreach program to build public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world. In addition to the 200 students participating in the event at Birch Aquarium, over 500 students across the county will use test kits to collect and analyze water samples in the coming months. Their water monitoring results will be shared with students around the world who are also participating in water quality monitoring in Japan, Poland, Mexico and Russia.

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ABOUT SAN DIEGO COASTKEEPER

Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects the region’s inland and coastal waters for the communities and wildlife that depend on them by blending education, community empowerment and advocacy. Visit us online at http://localhost/sdcoastkeeper. Coastkeeper is a registered trademark and servicemark and is licensed for use by Waterkeeper Alliance.

ABOUT SISTER SCHOOLS OF SAN DIEGO

Sister Schools of San Diego is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding by connecting schools around the globe. Classrooms separated by border, culture, and geography are united through similar interests and common principles. Students participate in collaborative projects ranging from literature and social development to science and technology. By connecting classrooms worldwide, we use the academic setting to conquer ignorance, bridge cultural gaps, and create international friendships.  www.sisterschoolsofsandiego.org