High School Student Taking A Bite Out of the Coastkeeper World


As a student from High Tech High, I received the opportunity to partake in a four-week long internship immersion to experience the working world outside the classroom. We had the chance to intern at any organization we were interested in as long as they were accepting interns. I was lucky enough to intern with San Diego Coastkeeper, where I would complete a project that I could present at the end. My job was to create five posters that would be used at the Walk the Watershed event on February 5, 2011 in Swan Canyon.

Walk the Watershed is an event that gives students who live inland of the Pueblo Watershed a chance to learn at different educational stations consisting of watershed models, native seed planting, photography and art, recycling, water quality monitoring, green gardening, pollution prevention and watershed ecology.


Before I started the posters, I took a visit to Swan Canyon with Coastkeeper’s Dylan Edward to see what the canyon was like and to get a feel for the improvements needed to better the canyon’s health and ultimately improve water quality in the bay. The posters I created are going to be used to help teach the students at the event about the watershed. The information includes where the toxins and bacteria come from, wildlife in the canyon, tips for keeping the canyon healthy and how wetlands clean out water.

The posters are just a small portion of the learning that will take place at Swan Canyon that day. Coastkeeper and partnerning organizations will offer other educational stations and projects.

There are students from all over San Diego coming to the event but you do not have to be one to enjoy the canyon’s natural beauty, so we hope to see you there!




Teaching Environmental Awareness to Aspiring Young Lifeguards

environmental.educationHave you ever fished in a kiddy pool, participated in a recycle relay, monitored water quality or played environmental Jeopardy? Hundreds of aspiring San Diego Junior Lifeguards did. They got to experience first hand how to recycle batteries, old cell phones and plastic and glass bottles; to experience hands-on how to test our water for pollutants; and what they can do to lesson negative impacts on the environment during a special day dedicated to environmental education.

San Diego Coastkeeper; San Diego Junior Lifeguards; I Love A Clean San Diego; City of San Diego Environmental Services; and City of San Diego Water Department participated in Think Blue, City of San Diego’s 2nd annual Junior Lifeguard Environmental Awareness Day this summer to teach aspiring young lifeguards ways to prevent pollution and keep our coast healthy. In addition to learning important lifesaving techniques, Junior Lifeguards learned how to keep San Diego’s ocean and bays healthy too.

My favorite memory for this year’s event was the enthusiasm each participant brought to the education stations. Their positive energy was contagious!

Junior.lifeguardsCoastkeeper enjoys participating in education and outreach events like Jr. Lifeguard Environmental Awareness Day because we get to interact with more children and families and teach them important conservation information. One of the best things about being an educator is the opportunity to watch kids get it – seeing their eyes widen and watching a big smile crawl on their face.

We love helping children learn how to personally take action to protect our natural resources to make San Diego’s beaches, ocean and bays healthier places to live and enjoy.

Kindergarten Students Learn About Pollution Prevention

San Diego Coastkeeper and the City of San Diego recently launched the Project SWELL Kindergarten curriculum in San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). Through these lessons students learn about the different plants and animals living in San Diego’s aquatic environments and about storm drain pollution. 

Project SWELL (Stewardship: Water Education for Lifelong Leadership) promotes awareness of clean water and fosters a sense of environmental stewardship by engaging children in improving the health of our ocean and waterways. This unique environmental education program enhances the existing science curriculum with hands-on lessons to teach students about pollution prevention in their local environment. 

Including the Kindergarten lessons, Project SWELL will be taught to approximately 50,000 students in five grades in SDUSD and one grade in Oceanside Unified School District annually. Ultimately, the City of San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper plan to develop Project SWELL in all K-12 classrooms in SDUSD and continue to expand the program into other school districts in San Diego County.

Educating the Environmental Caretakers of the Future

Educating San Diego’s youth about the importance of clean water and healthy marine ecosystems is a priority for San Diego Coastkeeper. Thanks to our environmental science education program, Project SWELL (Stewardship: Water Education for Lifelong Leadership), more than 50,000 students are personally involved in protecting San Diego’s natural water resources annually.

Project SWELL is hands-on, K-12 water quality and pollution prevention curricula that teaches children about the importance of our recreational waterways and human-water interaction from both environmental-conservation and environmental-science standpoints.

Most children (as well as their parents) are unaware that our bays and beaches are dangerously polluted, and ever fewer understand the role we play in this problem and must play in its solution. This unique San Diego-based education program supports progressive change by educating students on ways they can minimize impacts to this sensitive coastal environment and address environmental issues pertaining specifically to our region.

Project SWELL is in Kindergarten,  2nd, 4th, 5th & 6th grade classrooms in San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) and in 5th grade in Oceanside Unified School District (OUSD). In 2011, we will launch the 1st grade curriculum in SDUSD and the 6th grade lessons in OUSD.

Coastkeeper is working to expand the program county-wide to enhance environmental awareness among every K-12 student in San Diego County. Through Project SWELL, we can help empower and educate these future leaders of America to understand and improve the condition of San Diego’s coast and waterways. Read more about Project SWELL.