Highly trained volunteers will investigate pollution sources, combat urban runoff
SAN DIEGO, CA – Sept.13, 2011—San Diego Coastkeeper has launched its newest weapon to combat urban runoff in San Diego—Pollution Patrollers. This team of highly trained volunteers will scour San Diego County seeking sources of pollution that contribute to urban runoff. Commonly cited as the number one threat to water quality in San Diego, urban runoff contains pollutants such as oil, grease, pesticides, metals, bacteria, viruses and toxic chemicals that wash into the region’s waters during rainstorms and over irrigation.
When residents join Pollution Patrollers, San Diego Coastkeeper trains them about the federal Clean Water Act and how its permitting process requires every city in San Diego County to ensure municipal, commercial, industrial and residential sites minimize urban runoff pollution. Volunteers will use their training to inspect various sites throughout the county to ensure that the cities meet their permit guidelines. Coastkeeper’s Environmental Law & Policy Clinic plans to use the patroller-gathered data to identify problem areas around the county and to assist local cities to change practices that lead to urban runoff pollution.
“Pollution Patrollers gets right at the heart of what San Diego Coastkeeper stands for: empowering citizens to enforce the Clean Water Act here in San Diego,” said Dylan Edwards, San Diego’s Coastkeeper’s Volunteer Coordinator. “With recent slashing of government budgets statewide, it’s more important than ever that volunteers help supplement the fight against urban runoff.”
In addition to scheduled inspections of sites coordinated by San Diego Coastkeeper, Pollution Patrollers volunteers will have the knowledge to identify pollution “hot spots” in their own neighborhoods so that San Diego Coastkeeper can help find solutions to stop the pollution at the source.
The next Pollution Patrollers volunteer training will take place on September 20 from 6 p.m. -8 p.m. and the next formal patrol will take place on October 1. New volunteers must RSVP by contacting Dylan Edwards at (619) 758-7743 x131 or [email protected]. Volunteers must attend a Pollution Patrollers training in order to participate in the formalized inspections.