May 11 – San Diego Coastkeeper, City of San Diego Launch Project SWELL in Kindergarten

Lessons teach students about water quality, pollution prevention

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SAN DIEGO, CA –San Diego Coastkeeper and The City of San Diego launched the Project SWELL Kindergarten curriculum in San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) this morning at Ocean Beach Elementary School. City of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, SDUSD Board of Education President Richard Barrera and San Diego Coastkeeper Executive Director Bruce Reznik joined Kindergarten teachers Molly Stewart and Jasmine Greene as they led students in a Project SWELL demonstration about 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 pollution prevention and fosters a sense of environmental stewardship in children. The City of San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper have united with SDUSD to enhance the existing science curriculum with hands-on science lessons to teach students about pollution prevention in their local environment. This unique education program aligns with the State Science Content Standards and is adapted to teach students about issues in their community and promotes sustainable improvement by engaging children in improving the health of our water.

“Project SWELL gives San Diego’s children the decision-making tools to become a part of the solution rather than the problem,“ said Reznik. ”Many business leaders support Project SWELL as its hands-on, active investigation enhances overall science learning, which is needed to support the growth of green-technology in the region.”

This innovative approach to learning began with the inaugural rollout of the 5th-grade lessons in 2004. Since then, project partners have developed and implemented lessons for 2nd, 4th and 6th grades in SDUSD and 5th grade classrooms in Oceanside Unified School District. Since its inception, Project SWELL has reached 120,000 students. The lessons provide a tremendous benefit for a wide range of stakeholders throughout San Diego, including students, the City of San Diego and San Diego’s coastal environment.
With the roll out of the Kindergarten lessons, Project SWELL will reach more than 50,000 children annually. Ultimately, Coastkeeper plans to develop Project SWELL in all K-12 classrooms in SDUSD and continue to expand the program into other school district countywide.

Project SWELL wouldn’t be possible without the generous support from Coastkeeper’s partners and sponsors: The Charles and Ruth Billingsley Foundation, California Coastal Commission – Whale Tail License Plate Grants Program, Hans & Margaret Doe Charitable Trust, Hervey Family Non-endowment Fund at the San Diego Foundation, IKEA, San Diego, J.W. Sefton Foundation, McCarthy Family Foundation, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California,  New Belgium, Pacific Life Foundation, Price Charities, Qualcomm, REI, San Diego County Water Authority, San Diego Regional Airport Authority, Sempra Energy Foundation, State Water Resources Control Board, Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and the County of San Diego, The Hattie Ettinger Conservation Fund at The San Diego Foundation, The Heller Foundation of San Diego, The PIMCO Foundation, Think Blue, City of San Diego, Unified Port of San Diego, and Wells Fargo Foundation.

For more information on Project SWELL, visit

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Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects the region’s bays, beaches, watersheds and ocean for the people and wildlife that depend on them. We balance community outreach, education, and advocacy to promote stewardship of clean water and a healthy coastal ecosystem.