Check Out the San Diego CoastKeeper

Fight for Clean Water with San Diego Coastkeeper

Pacific Beach, CA


Although San Diego’s ocean offers picturesque backgrounds and an abundant playground, many dangers lurk below the surface. According to Conserve Energy Future, “over one million seabirds are killed by ocean pollution each year. 300,000 dolphins and porpoises die each year as a result of becoming entangled in discarded fishing nets, among other items. 100,000 sea mammals are killed in the ocean by pollution each year.”

For the past 20 years, San Diego Coastkeeper has worked endlessly to keep San Diego’s waters fishable, swimmable, and drinkable. By conducting research, monitoring pollution, performing clean ups, and empowering others to join the cause, San Diego Coastkeeper has achieved incredible feats and has set new goals for the future.

Since the company began in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper has removed 197,788 pieces of trash from San Diego beaches with the help of thousands of volunteers. By hosting beach clean ups throughout the year, San Diego Coastkeeper aims to stop marine debris pollution at the source. By recording the types and amounts of debris removed after each cleanup, they are able to take their findings to city officials to influence policy decisions and educate the public about the harmful effects of pollution and litter. In addition, San Diego Coastkeeper actively supports efforts to ban smoking on beaches to reduce cigarette butts, stop the use of single-use plastic bags, and reduce the use of plastic bottles and Styrofoam.

Further, San Diego Coastkeeper works to fix the biggest threat to water quality: urban runoff. According to San Diego Coastkeeper, “urban runoff is water that flows over man-made surfaces in densely populated areas and drains directly into our waters.” This water carries many pollutants, such as oil, grease, metals, bacteria, viruses, and toxic chemicals. To combat urban runoff, they work to improve permits that regulate storm water and sewage spills. San Diego Coastkeeper will fight for solutions to keep the county’s waters clean!

To their knowledge, San Diego Coastkeeper is the largest volunteer-based water quality monitoring program in the state. After data is recorded from beach cleanups, the team uses and analyzes water samples for basic chemistry, nutrients, bacteria, and toxicity. Because local city governments have limited resources, the findings made by San Diego Coastkeeper are used to make educated policy decisions.

San Diego Coastkeeper also aims to educate future generations about pollution in hopes of keeping San Diego waters safe. By enacting Project SWELL, San Diego Coastkeeper has given 2,902 students hands-on experience and water education. Project SWELL is a free program for schools within San Diego and Oceanside Unified School Districts that provides teachers with lesson plans, models, class presentations, hands-on projects, and experiment kits to help students understand the environmental problems that surround them.

San Diego Coastkeeper also invites everyone to participate in their frequent beach cleanups. By hosting three types of cleanups, including monthly, corporate, and beach cleanups in a box, San Diego Coastkeepers allows everyone to get involved individually, with coworkers, or with large groups. According to San Diego Coastkeepers, participating in a beach cleanup can have an immediate positive impact on our environment by removing trash before it infiltrates our inland and coastal waters.

For more information about beach clean ups and the 5th Annual Ocean Commotion please visit San Diego Coastkeepers.

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