San Diego Coastkeeperʼs range of volunteer programs reflect our belief that we all have the right to live in a clean, healthy environment, and we all have a responsibility to help keep it that way. An important part of our mission is providing a means through which community members like yourself can have a meaningful and effective impact on the health of San Diegoʼs fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters. We canʼt save San Diegoʼs coastal waters without you.
Water Quality Monitoring
Coastkeeperʼs Water Quality Monitoring Program creates a pathway for residents to learn the scientific tools they need to understand their local watersheds and directly influence local resource management. Teams of trained volunteers meet once a month to head to sites along nine of San Diegoʼs eleven watersheds and collect water samples that we analyze in our water quality laboratory. We use the data collected in these sessions as a powerful tool that fills the gaps created by limited governering agency resources and to track sources of pollution. New water quality monitor volunteers must attend a training session to get qualified to participate. For current and upcoming opportunities, visit our volunteer opportunities.
After years of fighting for the implementation of marine protected areas along our beautiful San Diego coast, we continue building understanding of these important underwater parks through our MPA Watch Program, in partnership with Wildcoast. Through MPA Watch, volunteers take transect surveys and gather important human-use data that helps us understand how MPAs impact the way people interact with the ocean. Future studies will use these data to inform decisionmakers about the role of marine protected areas along the California coastline. Trained volunteers conduct surveys at any time of their choosing, which makes this uniquely flexible program a good fit for those with busy or irregular schedules. For current and upcoming opportunities, visit our volunteer opportunities.
San Diego Coastkeeperʼs Volunteer Core is a select group of volunteers with a deep commitment to helping Coastkeeper protect and restore our fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters. We train core members in all of our volunteer programs, including Coastkeeperʼs history and mission. Typically, Core members create a custom volunteer plan that aligns with our organizational goals and the volunteerʼs strengths, commitment and abilities. Core members are our go-to people for running beach cleanups, leading as team captains, hosting outreach events and communicating our shared passion for healthy waters to their communities. Sign up for our email newsletter to learn about Volunteer Core trainings.
We love to play on clean beaches, thatʼs why we host twice-monthly beach cleanups, offer cleanup kits for the public to borrow and participate in major events like California Coastal Cleanup Day. With our partners at Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter, we helped remove tens of tons of trash from San Diegoʼs beaches and waters. The best part? Beach cleanups are open and available to the public. They are a perfect way for individuals, families and groups to have an immediate and satisfying impact on their environment and a great excuse to get outside. To learn more about the different kinds of beach cleanups we offer, visit our Beach Cleanups page. Check out our events calendar for a complete list of this yearʼs cleanups.
San Diego Coastkeeper loves positive symbiotic relationships, and the partnership we have with our interns is among the best. They are where talented people can apply their strengths and skills in legislative work, marketing, education or event planning to meaningful environmental work. For full details on Coastkeeper internships, read our internship descriptions.
Slideshow photo credits include Surfrider.