Known as the single biggest threat to water quality in San Diego, urban runoff creates many negative impacts for San Diego’s coastal waters. As the rainwater washes over man-made surfaces in densely populated areas, it will absorb the materials collected on the surface such as oil, grease, pesticides, metals, bacteria, viruses and toxic chemicals that have cumulated after many dry months. As this washes into the waters with the season’s rain, San Diego experiences the “first flush,” which causes dangerously high levels of pollution in the county’s waters. Read more about San Diego’s water quality during the first flush in a blog post written by Coastkeeper Lab Manager
In addition to carrying pollutants into the waters, the first flush also captures litter scattered across the county. Research estimates that 80 percent of marine debris comes from land, and Coastkeeper’s beach cleanup data demonstrate that plastic materials account for the vast majority of marine debris found regionally.
Coastkeeper reminds residents that they can take steps today to reduce the runoff impact such as using fewer pesticides and fertilizers, picking up litter, using reusable items and cleaning up after their pets. Learn more about the first flush and steps residents can take to reduce marine debris that enters our ocean as written by
Coastkeeper also suggests residents check its beach status page before going out in the water. The website contains advisories and closures for 56 beach locations where the county collects water quality samples to determine whether human contact with coastal waters is safe.
“Today’s biggest pollution problem is no longer caused by one major evildoer,” said Coastkeeper Executive Director
The organization also invites San Diegans to learn more about urban runoff and how to slow it at Signs of the Tide: Put a LID on Pollution on Dec. 6. The event will focus on how residents can utilize the principles of low impact development (LID) to improve water quality, while also making San Diego a greener city.
For more information on beach water quality, watershed monitoring by Coastkeeper volunteers and beach cleanups, visit Coastkeeper’s website at https://www.sdcoastkeeper.org.
Founded in 1995,