I Love a Clean San Diego volunteers work year round to ensure our neighborhoods and communities are safe and healthy places for all to enjoy. Throughout San Diego County, ILACSD volunteers remove thousands of pounds of harmful litter and debris which are detrimental to our environment and local wildlife. In 2016, over 33,000 volunteers from all walks of life came together to make a positive difference—we can accomplish so much together!
ILACSD is especially grateful for our partners at Cox Communications and their commitment to the environment! Since 2013, Cox Communications volunteers have made an impact in San Diego through their support at many different cleanup events such as Creek to Bay and Coastal Cleanup Day. Cox volunteers have been instrumental in cleanup efforts in the areas of Rose Creek, Oceanside Pier, Chula Vista, and many more locations. Support Cox Communications has provided for the annual Kids’ Ocean Day event has supplied environmental education materials, transportation, and cleanup equipment for hundreds of San Diego youth from low-income schools.
On September 12th, nearly a group volunteers from Cox Communications volunteered to clean up Mission Bay’s De Anza Cove. Together, they collected 387 pounds of litter and 19 pounds of recycling. This work helped to protect marine life and other animals from dangerous, small pieces of litter, which can be mistaken for food and is often deadly. We thank Cox Communications for their support all year long! For more information on Cox Communication’s dedication to the environment, please visit www.coxcharitiesca.org!
Can you believe it’s already September? In the ILACSD office, that means we’re in full swing for Coastal Cleanup Day! It seems unreal that it is less than two weeks away. As we amp up for this huge day of action for our environment, we wanted to take some time to show some love to our cleanup sites that are still in need of more volunteers! Volunteers are encouraged to register at a cleanup site in need today at CleanupDay.org!
While the beach locations are a big hit for Coastal Cleanup Day, it is still vitally important to spread out our efforts throughout the county. San Diego County has 11 different watersheds that carry debris out to the coast and ocean. This year, we want to encourage volunteers to explore a newer area also! Stop debris from even reaching the beach where it is more likely to end up in the ocean and affect the wildlife.
With over 100 cleanup and beautification sites throughout San Diego County, Coastal Cleanup Day offers this unique opportunity to explore new areas in your own town! Volunteers can find a new area for hiking or a neighborhood park they never knew about before. Check out some of the sites listed below to find a new site you’d be interested in volunteering at on Coastal Cleanup Day. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite hidden gem in San Diego!
Click any of the sites listed below to take you directly to the registration page for that location. If you have any questions about these sites or Coastal Cleanup Day in general, feel free to reach out to our Community Programs Coordinator, Michelle Freeman.
This year’s Coastal Cleanup Day is set for Saturday, September 16th from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. One local wetland has benefitted from the work of a dedicated group of volunteers for the last 25 years, and it is once again set to be a site for the annual volunteer effort.
Paradise Creek Educational Park is a public park in the Old Town neighborhood of National City that was designed to increase environmental stewardship and to provide a place of respite in the busy city. Paradise Creek has flowed out to San Diego Bay as part of the Sweetwater River watershed for thousands of years. In 1999, the non-profit organization, Paradise Creek Educational Park Inc., formed to carry out the mission of advocating for and preserving the salt marsh wetlands. Since that year, a group of community members, teachers, students, families, and others have been holding Creek Day cleanups on the last Saturday of every month.
On this year’s Coastal Cleanup Day, the park will hold a small celebration of the recent completion of work carried out by the City of National City. Come out and take a walk through the new entry way of native plants at 1815 Hoover Avenue in National City. Also, there is a new schoolyard garden that can be visited. Check out the Paradise Creek Facebook page for more information.
There is still time to register to volunteer at the Paradise Creek site on Coastal Cleanup Day. Head over to CleanupDay.org to sign up at Paradise Creek or one of the other 100+ cleanup sites in San Diego County for Coastal Cleanup Day and be a part of this international day of action!
Registration officially is open for San Diego County’s Coastal Cleanup Day! While the name Coastal Cleanup Day suggests that this cleanup is all about the beach, many of you already know ILACSD’s volunteer efforts reach far beyond the coast. With eighty percent of marine debris originating in inland areas, at ILACSD we have expanded our Coastal Cleanup Day reach to include both inland and coastal territory. This year, sixty-five percent of the cleanup sites are located inland along rivers, creeks, canyons, and urban areas with the aim to stop debris before it makes its way to the ocean. We even have 3 clean ups happening on the water with kayaks! With 114 cleanup sites last year, volunteers removed 185,000 pounds of debris from San Diego County – the equivalent weight of 10 garbage trucks! Help us remove even more trash and debris and beautify our county by getting registered for this year’s Coastal Cleanup Day on September 16, 2017, from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM! Get registered now at www.CleanupDay.org!
In an effort to reduce waste produced by an event of this size, Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers can pledge to bring at least one reusable item to the cleanup. When volunteers bring their own reusable water bottle, work gloves, and bucket to collect litter, they prevent thousands of single-use bags and disposable gloves from entering San Diego’s landfills. When you register, please consider pledging to bring one of these items with you (or all three)! Once again, we will be having our “Bling Your Bucket” competition for Coastal Cleanup Day. Participants have the opportunity to decorate their reusable buckets showing off their creativity and imagination and submit photos of for the chance to win fun prizes and have their picture posted on the Coastal Cleanup Day website for one year! Volunteers of all ages are also encouraged to participate!
The Sony Photo Contest is also returning to Coastal Cleanup Day! While you spend the morning helping to preserve our environment, snap some pictures of all of your hard work! After attending Coastal Cleanup Day, participants can submit their best photo from the event into the competition where the top five finalists will be put to a vote on the ILACSD Facebook page. The winner will receive a Sony Point and Shoot Camera!
Not only will we be removing litter on Coastal Cleanup Day, the event also includes beautification projects such as graffiti removal and replacement of invasive species with drought-tolerant alternatives. Volunteers who signup will work with ILACSD to preserve and enhance San Diego for current and future generations to enjoy. Leading the way to a zero waste, litter-free, and environmentally engaged San Diego region, ILACSD encourages all community members to take action in their neighborhood by joining us on September 16th. Registration information and details regarding Coastal Cleanup Day can be found at www.CleanupDay.org.
We’re excited to welcome Grace as our newest educator! Get to know Grace and what fuels her passion for the environment by reading our brief Q&A.
What brought you to ILACSD?
I was very excited to begin working at ILACSD as an Environmental Educator because it allows me to combine my interests in Marine Biology and the ocean with my passion for teaching and conservation. From a young age, I was always inspired by the ocean and could spend hours looking at sea stars in the tide pools. However, it wasn’t until my college internships with Heal the Bay that I realized it was something I wanted to help protect.
During my very first Coastal Cleanup DayI was given the unique opportunity to do an underwater SCUBA diving cleanup under the Santa Monica Pier. We pulled out cell phones, cameras, bike tires, fishing line, and beach toys, just to name a few. Not only did we find trash, but we also found animals, including crabs and sea hares, living among the trash. Seeing how these animals’ lives had become so impacted with this trash was the moment that I knew I wanted to help make a difference. And by working for ILACSD, I get to make that difference by inspiring environmental stewardship in students throughout the county.
What environmental topics are you most passionate about?
If it wasn’t already obvious, I’m extremely passionate about anything that has to do with the ocean. As an avid scuba diver, and someone who loves experiencing nature. One topic that is close to my heart is ocean acidification. Ocean acidification makes it exceptionally difficult for calcifying organisms (corals, krill, oysters, etc.) to make their shells. It is caused from excess CO2 in the atmosphere being absorbed into the ocean. By teaching students about how we contribute to environmental issues, it gives them the power to make positive changes that lessen their impact on our ecosystems.
What is your most recent environmental goal?
Even during my short time working at ILACSD, I have learned so much about trash. I recently learned $1 of every $10 spent goes towards packaging that is thrown away. My most recent goal has been to buy food with less packaging. This means buying different food items, going to different stores, and making sure fruits and veggies are a big part of my everyday diet.
What do you enjoy most about being an environmental educator?
I thoroughly enjoy interacting with the students that I am teaching! It is fun to experience their personalities as I present and discuss important issues with them. By helping them to see another perspective on the world, they can have a better appreciation for nature, which inspires them to protect it.
Do you have a favorite presentation?
One of my favorite presentations is our Enviroscape presentation, which uses a model of city along with sprinkles to represent different types of pollution. It really allows the students to visualize how pollution can make its way to the ocean and impact the animals that live there. Typically we do this presentation with 3rd graders, which is a really fun age because they are all extremely excited to share their ideas and own experiences.
I also really enjoy presenting our watershed program to AP Environmental Science classesbecause it allows me to use my background in science to incorporate higher level topics such as ocean acidification and eutrophication.
Join Grace & the rest of ILACSD team in our efforts to keep San Diego, and the Pacific Ocean, clean and beautiful. Our next cleanup is on December 5th at Black Mountain Ranch – click here to learn more!
Today’s blog comes from our new Community Program Coordinator, Moriah Saldaña! Originally from Redlands, Califorina, Moriah first joined ILACSD nearly two years ago as a Program Assistant, working evenings and weekends while in school. Well, Moriah recently graduated with her Masters degree in Public Administration and we welcomed her on board full-time as our Community Program Coordinator. Read on to learn more about the newest mastermind behind our cleanups!
Q: What brought you to I Love A Clean San Diego? A: What stood out to me about ILACSD was the organization’s focus on individual empowerment to create noticeable changes in our community and our environment. I have been passionate about the environment since I was a little girl, going on river walks and learning about native plants with my mother. It wasn’t until college though that I found myself able to make small but noticeable changes at my university, such as advocating for composting food waste on campus and starting the university’s now annual bike week. Once I moved to San Diego I looked for an organization that would allow to me continue my passion for better our local environment, and ILACSD was a perfect fit!
Q: What environmental topic are you most passionate about? A: I think that one of the best ways to make a positive environmental impact as an individual is through being a smart consumer, so it is important to me that everyone has access to the information they need to “vote with their wallet.” I make a conscious effort to buy items that use less or ideally zero plastic packing and that do not contain ingredients that our harmful to our environment, like microbeads. Shopping in this way not only reduces your environmental footprint but also encourages companies to make more sustainable choices when developing their products.
Q: What is your favorite ILACSD program? A: The two annual countywide cleanup efforts that we coordinate, Coastal Cleanup Day and Creek to Bay, are my favorite events at ILACSD. The amount of teamwork, energy, and thought that goes into these large scale events highlight what a great team we have here at ILACSD. I am consistently impressed at the volunteer turnout and environmental impact at these events. The next one, Coastal Cleanup Day, is set for Saturday, September 19th – be sure to save the date!
Q:“When I’m not at a cleanup you can find me…” A: San Diego has provided me with the unique opportunity to explore the world of craft beer! I love the culture and the artisanship of the craft brewing industry in San Diego, so in my free time I am often imbibing at a local brewery or experimenting with home brewing in my own kitchen. I, also, use growlers as much as possible for at-home consumption so that I am not generating so much waste with cans or bottles.
Q: Since joining ILACSD, what has been your most memorable moment? A: As a Program Assistant with ILACSD, I had the opportunity to go to a lot of community fairs and events in order to tell people about our organization. There was one event where my booth was located in the middle of the reptile exhibit at Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center. I had never touched a snake before, but within an hour I had one wrapped around my neck, and then a different one around my wrist for almost the entire day. There was also a massive tortoise walking around the fair, as well as a bearded dragon that took residence on top of my flyers. That was definitely the most interesting community event I have attended.
Today’s blog comes from our Community Programs Manager, Lexi! If you have ever volunteered for one of our cleanups there is a good chance you two have crossed paths! In addition to community cleanups, she also helps coordinate our two countywide cleanups, Creek to Bay and Coastal Cleanup Day. Creek to Bay is the first countywide cleanup of the year and there will be close to 100 cleanup sites across San Diego County! Read on to learn more about how local businesses have stepped up to protect and conserve our environment!
Preparations for our Earth Month volunteer event, the Creek to Bay Cleanup, are in full swing here at I Love A Clean San Diego. With 95 cleanup and beautification projects happening throughout San Diego County on April 25, it’s certainly a busy time around our office!
This event would not be possible without the support of some of our business partners in the community. We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize some of these groups that help make this event a success.
One of our newest partners for this event is local startup BoxedGreen. This eco-friendly company is helping San Diegans reduce their environmental impact by offering gently used cardboard boxes for $1 each. Through unique partnerships with local businesses, BoxedGreen connects community members in need of boxes with nearby retailers who have boxes to spare.
BoxedGreen will be donating a portion of the cardboard boxes we use to pack up the cleanup supplies for our 95 different Creek to Bay sites throughout San Diego County. We can’t wait to put these recycled boxes to good use!
RECON Environmental, Inc.
Maple Canyon in the Park West neighborhood of San Diego looks quite a bit different now than it did 4 years ago, thanks in large part to cleanup efforts led by a team from RECON Environmental, Inc. RECON, a local environmental services firm, wanted to use its expertise in habitat restoration to revitalize a canyon in their neighborhood through community involvement.
RECON staff began serving as site captains for this canyon in 2011, focusing first on large trash items that had been illegally dumped years ago. Once these items were properly disposed of, RECON began to focus on habitat restoration by removing invasive plants and slowly returning the canyon to its native state of coastal sage scrub.
To keep the canyon looking great between our countywide cleanup efforts (Creek to Bay in April and Coastal Cleanup Day in September), RECON also coordinates their own cleanups of the canyon through our Adopt-A-Beach/Adopt-A-Canyon program. RECON is a perfect example of how a company can take action to beautify the environment right in its own backyard!
For the last several years, we have worked with our friends at Sony to offer a fun photo contest for all of our volunteers. The winner of this year’s contest will receive a brand new Sony Cyber-Shot camera! Last year’s photo contest theme was “Be The Change,” and we received tons of great shots of volunteers beautifying their local communities.
And not only is Sony supporting our event by sponsoring the photo contest—they also gather a volunteer team every year to participate at one of our many cleanup sites.
Interested in getting your business connected with our Creek to Bay Cleanup? Visit www.CreektoBay.org to find out about how you can get involved! If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor, please download a copy of our sponsorship packet. For more information, please email Natalie, Senior Director of Operations, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!