Your Ticket to Preventing Urban Runoff

I sit at my desk a lot.  Considering I have a job that works to protect our coastline and outdoor environment, I still spend lots of time at a desk.  And as I sit here, I often wonder despite the work of our amazing staff, the thousands of hours of service our volunteers provide, the work of all the other organizations trying to protect our waterways, and the increasing knowledge that our community has about pollution problems, how much pollution is building up right now?

How much oil is dripping from cars in San Diego and how much excess fertilizer is being applied to lawns, farms, nurseries and golf courses? How many dogs are pooping without it being picked up, how many cars are being washed and leaking junk into the gutter and how many construction sites are letting loose dirt erode into our creeks and rivers?  It’s kinda mind boggling when you think about it.  All that pollution just building up and waiting for rain or urban runoff to pick it up and take it to the ocean I love to surf and sail in.

Urban runoff and the pollution it picks up is the biggest threat to water quality in San Diego.  But now we’re going to turn the tides, and use what I consider our biggest asset to combat our biggest threat:  Our incredible volunteer base.

Announcing our newest volunteer program: Pollution Patrollers

We’ll be training volunteers to identify true pollution incidents and violations of Best Management Practices (all the things businesses and residents should be doing to reduce urban runoff) and using the power of our Environmental Law & Policy Clinic to report and follow up on getting them cleaned up.

Pollution Patrollers is a twofold program:

  • The county and all the cities have a legal obligation to ensure those BMP’s are being met, and we’re going to audit them.  We need your help to be a part of organized patrols to gauge whether or not this is happening.
  • You can also use this training to identify true pollution problems in your daily life.  If you’re driving around town, riding your bike, out on your boat, or taking a walk, you’ll be able to document and report those incidents to us, and we’ll help you make sure the cities follow up.

The training is June 14 from 6-8pm in La Jolla, and I’d be stoked to see you there.  Shoot me an email (email: [email protected], subject line: Pollution Patrollers) to become part of this exciting program.