Wednesday, August 2, 2017 | By Nick | Comments Off on San Diego Coastkeeper Releases 2016 Water Quality Report
SAN DIEGO, August 1, 2017— This week, San Diego Coastkeeper, an organization protecting and restoring San Diego County’s fishable, swimmable, drinkable water, published its 2016 San Diego County Water Quality Report. The organization’s data show an overall improvement in San Diego’s water quality for the first time since 2013.
“This is great news. Of course, a single year of overall better water quality readings does not mean San Diego’s water will keep improving. It takes many years for patterns to emerge,” says San Diego Coastkeeper Lab Manager Meredith Meyers. “That’s why our long-term water monitoring is so crucial. We can provide decision-makers with the big picture and that makes for more effective, data-based policy.”
Urban runoff continues to be the largest factor impacting people’s ability to safely fish and swim in San Diego County. Rain takes pollution from the surfaces of our streets into our storm drains, where it travels through to our rivers and streams and ultimately, to the Pacific Ocean. As a result, the overwhelming majority of San Diego’s waterways fail to the meet water quality standards that make them safe for recreation.
Though the cause of last year’s improved results can’t be directly identified, and Coastkeeper scientists caution against giving too much credit to any one theory, there are a few ideas about why water quality looked a little better in 2016.
“Temporary water conservation regulations, implemented in response to the drought, may have helped water quality improve. When San Diegans prioritize conservation over lush lawns, reduced fertilizer use and fewer lawn sprinklers overflowing onto sidewalks means less pollution washing from the street into our rivers and streams,” says Meyers. “It’s impossible to know for sure, but it’s one idea that makes sense.”
San Diego Coastkeeper collects monthly water quality data from across the County through its volunteer-powered Water Quality Monitoring program. The program, which is the largest of its kind in California, trains citizen scientists to collect vital water quality data to fill gaps and increase the amount of publically available data.. In 2016, 152 trained volunteers gave a collective 1,908 hours.
“Our Water Quality Monitors are more dedicated than ever. Participation was so consistent last year we were able to reduce the number of new volunteers we needed to bring on board to maintain the program,” says Meyers. “The dedication of our trained monitors has allowed us to put even more resources straight into the monitoring itself, and has improved the program as a whole.”
The organization uses a suite of indicators to calculate an overall 2016 Water Quality Score for different watersheds across San Diego County. For the first time since 2013, some of San Diego County’s watersheds surpassed the “Fair” rating on the Water Quality Index,” reaching “Good.” Each watershed below is linked to more details about the watershed’s 2016 water quality:
“Every year, our results continue to show that water quality is defined by all of us. There’s no single source of pollution poisoning our environment; it’s all of our daily actions that determine our water quality,” says Meyers. “Whenever you pick up a piece of litter, fix a leaky sprinkler or forgo chemical fertilizers in your garden, you make a real impact. We all have the opportunity to take small actions that matter.”
After each month’s water sampling, San Diego Coastkeeper updates its online, color-coded water quality map. See June 2017’s water quality results.
Read the full water quality report for 2016 here.
As a trained Water Quality Monitor, volunteers can learn how to generate vital, scientifically sound data to better inform decision-makers and the public. Visit San Diego Coastkeeper’s website to learn more, sign up for training, to view the 2017 water quality-monitoring schedule and to donate to help the organization continue doing this important work.
San Diego Coastkeeper
Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. For more information, visit San Diego Coastkeeper online at http://www.sdcoastkeeper.org.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | By nanzalone | Comments Off on 5 Outdoor Activities for the Eco-friendly Adventurer
We found this great article at the I Love a Clean San Diego website. It’s got some really super ourdoor ideas that are eco friendly and with Summer coming…this is perfect timing.
A Southern California summer is not made for staying inside. The sun’s too bright, the sky’s too blue, and it’s important for you to get outside and enjoy time with your family and friends. Many of the I Love A Clean San Diego staff have already taken time to enjoy our gorgeous scenery properly. From all of our outdoor experiences, we decided to share a list of environmentally sound activities we love to help get you outside this beautiful time of year.
We get to live here in California, one of the few places in the world that has tide pools and they are a must when it comes to experiencing San Diego. Grab a friend and head out to Cabrillo National Marine Sanctuary, Sunset Cliffs, or La Jolla Shores. Explore all the critters in tide pools. Make sure to tread lightly, because you are walking on their homes.
We live in Southern California, which is known internationally for surfing opportunities. The more you surf, the more you get a first-hand experience of interacting with the ocean and all of the creatures there.
There’s also hiking, surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. For the full article, check out this page at ‘I Love a Clean San Diego.’
Monday, April 3, 2017 | By nanzalone | Comments Off on Love Your Mother! 9 Earth Day Events for Tiny Tree Huggers
Earth Day is near and even the tiniest of mother earth’s enthusiasts are gearing up! Let’s get our kids involved. Let them know how we treat out mother earth now, will make a huge impact on them and their future . After all…there is no plan B. This is the only earth we have. Let’s love her.
Take a look through this list of events you can attend with your little one’s.
Earth Day Festival at Alta Vista Gardens
Mother Nature shines her beauty every day at Alta Vista Botanical Gardens. This Earth Day, connect with nature in the fun-filled children’s and music gardens, paint a special rock to bring home and add to a mini-fairy garden with succulent planting. While kids frolic with face painting, hands-on worms and story time with Roxy the Recycling Robin, parents can browse the extensive plant and pottery sale, get gardening advice and browse the many vendor booths that will share earth-friendly ideas.
Date: Apr. 15, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Alta Vista Gardens
1270 Vale Terrace Dr.
SEA Days: Party for the Planet
Birch Aquarium is already an awesome spot to remember that Earth Day is every day with its gorgeous views of the ocean and terrific interactive exhibits featuring clean energy and climate change. Visit on Earth Day and join in the free SEA Days fun with an Oceanographer and learn about watersheds and how our actions affect them. Little naturalists will love checking out the scientist’s interesting tools, photos and specimens. Finish off the day with a fun conservation craft.
Date: Apr. 15, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cost: $12.50 – $17/person; SEA Days free with admission
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, Ca
For the FULL list of Mother Earth Events…CLICK HERE!
Friday, March 31, 2017 | By nanzalone | Comments Off on Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s “Opening Day for Trails” Unites Americans Nationwide
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s “Opening Day for Trails” Unites Americans Nationwide
Over 120 Events Planned for Fifth Annual Kick-Off to the Trail Season
WASHINGTON—On Saturday, April 8, 2017, outdoor enthusiasts and families across all 50 states will unite to kick off the spring trail season for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) fifth annual Opening Day for Trails.
Opening Day is expected to bring together more than 20,000 people nationwide for shared hiking, biking and running events, and other outdoor activities, to celebrate treasured trails in their communities. These family-friendly—and often free—events are intended to inspire trail use across the country, and all participants who pledge to take part in any Opening Day activity are eligible to win prizes from event sponsors Fuji Bikes and Performance Bicycle.
“Trails connect people—whether it’s getting together with friends and family on the trail or using trails to get where they want to go,” said Brandi Horton, vice president of communications at RTC. “On Opening Day this year, we expect a record number of participants will bring that spirit to life at events across the country. We will celebrate the appreciation we share for trails and the connections they create in our communities.”
Those interested in participating can find or register events via Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Opening Day website. Featured Opening Day events on April 8 include:
- In the Washington, D.C. region, “Opening Day for Trails Fun Run 5K” from 8 a.m. to noon at Bluemont Park Picnic Pavilion in Arlington, Virginia. The event is a free, family-friendly way to explore nature in the nation’s capital and will feature live music by the Capitol Hillbillies and a chance to win an AlterCycle bike.
- In Pittsburgh, “Three Rivers Art Drop: You Were Made to Bloom” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 33 Terminal Way. Opening Day participants will be invited to discover—and keep—original art by former NFL player and artist Baron Batch along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.
- In Philadelphia, the Circuit Trails invites people to join the quest to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD™ for the longest fist-bump chain. Fist-bumpers will gather at Penn Treaty Park at 2 p.m.
- Every Performance Bicycle store nationwide will participate in a special “Great Ride Series” event to celebrate Opening Day.
For more information about Opening Day, and to enter the giveaway sweepstakes, visit rtc.li/Opening-Day-2017 or follow #RTCOpeningDay on social media.
Opening Day is an annual celebration organized by RTC that kicks off the spring trail season. RTC, a nonprofit organization with more than 160,000 members and supporters, is the nation’s largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines. Connect with RTC at railstotrails.org and @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Share Opening Day stories by using #RTCOpeningDay.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016 | By Nick | Comments Off on San Diego Teachers Turn Local Pollution Into Curriculum at Coastkeeper Training
On September 16, the teachers will become the students for a day when San Diego Coastkeeper and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center team up to train K-12 teachers to inspire students to protect San Diego’s waters. Teachers from all over San Diego County are invited to get the tools they need to help kids grow into expert water protectors, such as hands-on lesson plans based on San Diego’s water issues.
“Water quality and quantity are some of the biggest issues facing humanity today, especially in drought-stricken California,” says Sandra Lebrón, education manager at Coastkeeper. “With our water-science curriculum, teachers can prepare the next generation of leaders to find solutions to these problems.”
The professional development training will demonstrate environmental lessons that teachers can use to help their students learn about San Diego’s waters, take action to minimize and monitor pollution and understand the connections between living things and one of our most vital resources — water.
“We want to show teachers how to use real-world problems happening right here in San Diego – like trash ending up on our beaches – to help students deepen their knowledge of environmental issues and sharpen their problem-solving skills,” says Lebrón.
All lessons in the training incorporate Next Generation Science Standards and include hands-on lessons to be taught in classrooms or informal settings, including after school programs.
The professional development training is on Friday, September 16 from 4 – 6 p.m. and is open to all K-12 teachers with an entry fee of $16. To learn more and register visit: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2591764
For more information on San Diego Coastkeeper’s Water Education Programs visit:
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 | By Nick | Comments Off on San Diego Coastkeeper Comments on Quality of Life Dashboard Released Today
SAN DIEGO, May 3, 2016 — Water: we need it to live, to work and to thrive. That’s why San Diego Coastkeeper, which protects fishable, swimmable and drinkable water, says that the Quality of Life Dashboard released today shows a grave need for the region to invest in water quality and water conservation.
Published once a year by the Center for Sustainable Energy’s Equinox Project, the Quality of Life Dashboard assesses the top economic and environmental indicators to gauge the region’s progress toward sustainability. Among its 15 indicators, the beach water quality data show the number of beach advisories increased in 2015. Its 2015 water use category gave a thumbs up for a 14 percent decrease in the county’s per capita residential water use, though, says Coastkeeper, this mark was below the mandatory reduction limits set by the state.
“Our own scientific data show that the historic drought is causing low water levels and increased water quality problems across San Diego County,” said Matt O’Malley, San Diego Coastkeeper Waterkeeper. While the organization has not yet released its 2015 Water Quality Report, it says that an early analysis shows that the drought has again negatively affected water quality, making it worse than Coastkeeper’s 2014 water quality scores show. “We’re not surprised to see more beach advisories in 2015 as a result, and this means that many of our region’s inland waterways are suffering.”
“On the water quantity side, we continue to be alarmed that our water suppliers have pushed back so forcefully against meaningful conservation in the face of water scarcity,” O’Malley said in reference to lobbying efforts by the water agencies in 2016 that resulted in the State Water Resources Control Board weakening drought measures. The better, longer-term strategy, according to Coastkeeper, would have been for the agencies to put their large lobbying budgets into an aggressive campaign to further pursue long-term reductions in water demand.
“This year’s dashboard, a celebration of the quality of life we love here in San Diego, reminds us why we must continue to work in partnership with all stakeholders towards multi-benefit solutions that address both water quality and water supply,” said O’Malley. “Prioritizing solutions like stormwater capture and potable water recycling will provide our region with much-needed water resources while reducing or eliminating pollution in our waters.”
San Diego Coastkeeper says that it will continue to push for better conservation leadership in San Diego County and support more projects to help the region capture and reuse stormwater runoff and pursue wastewater recycling facilities. The organization is set to release its 2015 Water Quality Report in the next week.