REDUCED BEACH ADVISORIES
San Diego Coastkeeper helped reduce countywide beach advisories by 77 percent since 2000 by securing improved sewage and urban runoff policies and permits, leading to cleaner, safer water and more recreation days per year.
SECURED MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
We successfully advocated for adoption of strong marine protected areas (MPAs) in Southern California including Swami’s, which is San Diego County’s largest MPA as a 12.6-square-mile conservation area, and South La Jolla, a set of MPAs totaling 7.5-square-miles, including a 4.7-square-mile reserve where marine wildlife enjoys full protection.
LIMITED OCEAN-POLLUTING PLASTIC PRODUCTS
Our advocacy team regularly engages the City of San Diego to restrict regional use of environmentally damaging single-use plastic products. We played an instrumental role in securing the nation’s first statewide plastic bag ban, and more recently, we advocated for a ban limiting the use of pervasive, environmentally damaging plastic foam in San Diego.
SUPPORTED REGIONAL PARTNERS TO ADVANCE EDUCATION AND RESTORATION PROJECTS COUNTYWIDE
Through our legal and advocacy work we have been able to direct hundreds of thousands of dollars to partner organizations throughout San Diego County, including San Diego Audubon, San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, Preserve Calavera, and Ocean Connectors. The funding we’ve been able to direct to these organizations has supported their education and science programs as well as on-the-ground restoration work, fostering greater partnerships and compounding opportunities to collaborate to protect our waters.
CLEANED BEACHES AND PREVENTED MARINE DEBRIS
San Diego Coastkeeper and partner organizations have removed more than one million pounds of debris from area beaches and waterways. Since 2007, we have completed more than 200 beach cleanups and grown our yearly volunteer participation numbers to over 7,000.
BROUGHT ENVIRONMENTAL S.T.E.M. EDUCATION TO KIDS
We have provided Project SWELL (Stewardship: Water Education for Lifelong Leadership) hands-on environmental science lessons and materials to over 600 teachers and more than 14,000 elementary and middle school students in San Diego, thanks to a partnership with the City of San Diego and San Diego Unified School District. In 2015, with support from the Port of San Diego, we expanded our reach countywide with Water Education For All, a bilingual curriculum available to formal and informal educators alike, reaching an additional 5,500 students and community members.
IMPROVED THE HEALTH OF SAN DIEGO BAY
After a decade-long fight alongside our allies, we won a regulatory ruling to close the ecosystem-damaging South Bay Power Plant. Our litigation against Southwest Marine, Inc. won important stormwater improvements along the bayfront, and our legal action directed at contaminated sediments lead the Regional Water Quality Control Board to order longtime polluters to conduct a massive cleanup of their toxic pollution at the bottom of San Diego Bay. We also negotiated a $15-million restoration plan with the Port of San Diego to turn the Campbell Shipyard into a thriving ecosystem and fish nursery.
SECURED A PROMISE TO BRING SUSTAINABLE RECYCLED WATER TO THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO
We helped establish the Water Reliability Coalition with the aim of uniting diverse interest groups in pursuit of a sustainable water supply in San Diego. We led this coalition to earn a unanimous San Diego City Council vote to reduce ocean discharge from Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant and implement a large-scale water recycling system. When fully implemented in 2035, the plant will supply up to one-third of the city’s drinking water needs and will reduce environmentally costly imports from the San Joaquin River Delta and Colorado River.
REDUCED SEWAGE SPILLS
A San Diego Coastkeeper lawsuit pushed the City of San Diego to invest $1 billion in infrastructure upgrades, which reduced sewage spills by 90 percent. In 2011, our volunteers identified a 1.9-million gallon sewage spill in Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, and our action resulted in a $12-million infrastructure investment by the City of San Diego to prevent future spills.
RAN THE STATE’S LARGEST VOLUNTEER WATER QUALITY MONITORING PROGRAM
San Diego Coastkeeper’s Water Quality Monitoring Program ran from 2008 to 2018, and was the state’s largest volunteer water quality monitoring program. It trained around 100 volunteers annually to test fresh water quality from Oceanside to the Tijuana River, in nine of the 11 watersheds in San Diego County, and generated ten years of high-quality water quality data to support the protection and restoration of local rivers and streams.
IMPROVED WATER QUALITY THROUGHOUT OUR REGION
Since 1995, Coastkeeper’s fearless advocacy and targeted legal action has resulted in dozens of legally binding agreements with public entities including the City of San Diego and Caltrans, and private entities including NASSCO, ensuring practices that improve water quality are utilized, and polluted discharges are curtailed. We have strongly influenced the quality and strength of regional stormwater permits, and in 2013 we achieved the adoption of a unique watershed-based permit that requires cities and agencies in the San Diego region to work together across jurisdictions to reduce pollution.