January 2021 - Virtual Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

county of san diego watershed protection program

Virtual Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

January 2021

We all play a part in preventing stormwater pollution. Here are some ways to get involved in January and help protect our local waterways! All events are free unless otherwise indicated.


Cleanup Events



I Love A Clean San Diego Virtual Community Cleanups

Several VIRTUAL litter cleanups are being offered during the month of January. Participants will collect trash around their communities to divert litter from their respective watersheds. Participate in these cleanups to protect the environment as well as each other, and “walk-your-block” with your family and neighbors. Join ILACSD on Zoom for the 9am kick-off, and then beautify your neighborhood!

  • January 16, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors Casa De Oro Community VIRTUAL Litter Cleanup – trash will be collected from around the Casa De Oro community to divert litter from the San Diego Bay watershed. Learn more or register.
  • January 23, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors Rancho San Diego Community VIRTUAL Litter Cleanup – trash will be collected from around the Rancho San Diego community to divert litter from the San Diego Bay watershed. Learn more or register.
  • January 30, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors Lakeside Community VIRTUAL Litter Cleanup – trash will be collected from around the Lakeside community to divert litter from the San Diego River watershed. Learn more or register.


January 21, 3pm to 5pm – Sunset Sweep: Auburn Creek Neighborhood VIRTUAL Litter Cleanup

Join I Love a Clean San Diego, San Diego Canyonlands, and Think Blue in a virtual canyon cleanup. Participants will do a ‘sunset sweep’ of their neighborhood and collect trash around the Auburn Creek community to keep it from traveling through the canyon into the Pacific Ocean. Watch a video at 3pm and then get out there to beautify your canyon neighborhood! Learn more or register.


Landscape & Garden Events

Birds of Paradise


WaterSmart Residential and Professional Landscape and Irrigation Online Programs

The San Diego County Water Authority’s WaterSmart program is providing free residential educational programs on landscape design and irrigation management during the month of January and throughout 2021.

  • January 23 – Plan Ahead: Understanding Soil and Site Assessments – This free three-hour workshop will introduce you to the steps needed to turn water-thirsty turf into a beautiful and sustainable landscape. You will learn how to rethink, redesign and renovate your landscape and the important role of healthy soil in a successful landscape. Learn more or register.  
  • 2021 WaterSmart 4-Class Landscape Makeover Series – The WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series is a free educational program that will empower you to upgrade your high-water-use turf area into a WaterSmart landscape. The 2021 four-class online series is planned for early 2021. Learn more and apply today to add yourself to the waiting list and be among the first to be notified when these new classes are open for enrollment.
  • January 27 - March 10 Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) Certification Course (English) - QWEL provides 20 hours of education on principles of proper plant selection for the local climate, irrigation system design and maintenance, and irrigation system programming and operation. This free course is spread out from January 27 through March 10 in convenient, one-hour live webinars twice weekly. Participants are required to finish the certification with an online exam the week of March 15. Learn more or register.


The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Landscape and Water-Savings Webinars

A series of landscape and water-savings webinars are being offered throughout the month of January. Dates and times vary. See calendar and learn more or register.

  • Turf Removal and Garden Transformation Webinar (offered in both English and Spanish) – learn how to plan for your garden transformation and remove your lawn without chemicals, and other tips on watershed-wise landscaping.
  • Garden Design Webinar – learn how to identify critical steps for successfully designing a watershed-wise landscape including developing a successful planting plan, developing a palette of climate-appropriate plants, and sizing/siting rainwater capture area.
  • California Friendly Native Plant Landscape Webinar – learn how to design a yard using the four principles of gorgeous and watershed-wise landscaping including building healthy soil, capturing rainfall, selecting native plants that minimize water use, and controlling irrigation.


Waste Reduction Events

compost bin

Compost bin


December 26 through January 23 – 46th Annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program – The City of San Diego is holding its 46th annual Christmas Tree Recycling program at a variety of drop-off sites throughout the San Diego community. See drop-off site locations and learn more.


The Solana Center for Environmental Innovation – 2021 Waste Reduction Webinars are in the process of being scheduled. Check back here for additional webinars. Supporting partners include the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department, Urban Corps, and the County of San Diego Recycling.

  • Now through January 14 – Food Cycle Holiday Special – For a limited time only, Solana Center is offering a holiday special to help you divert all your holiday food scraps from entering the landfill by joining Food Cycle! Pick up a bucket from Solana Center during store hours and start filling it up with your kitchen waste. There is a $15 composting fee, plus a $10 bucket deposit. Make sure to mention that it's the holiday special to get this price. Once your bucket is full, bring it back to Solana Center and we’ll compost it for you. Return your full bucket no later than January 14 & get your deposit back. Learn more or sign up.
  • January 20, 10am to 2pm – scheduled pickups between 10am and 2pm -- Free E-Business Waste Pickup – Coastal North County Cities – in partnership with Urban Corps, a FREE e-waste pick-up service is being provided to businesses in coastal North County cities. Sign up by Friday, January 15 for the Wednesday, January 20 pick up. Learn more or register.


January Virtual Compost Workshops

The Living Coastal Discovery Center and City of Chula Vista is offering the following compost workshops where participants will learn the basics on how to start their own compost pile and turn food waste into nutrient-rich soil.


January 19, 11am – 12pm Zero Waste Bathroom Webinar Join I Love A Clean San Diego and the County of San Diego on Tuesday, January 19th, from 11am – 12pm for a free Zero Waste Bathroom webinar. We’ll discuss bulk bathroom products, identify specific low-waste swaps, review how to recycle right, and share DIY recipes that can help us reduce what we’re sending to the landfill. Learn more or register


Rain Barrel Events

daisy-chained rain barrels

Photo courtesy of Solana Center for Environmental Innovation

County of San Diego Rain Barrel Events 

The County of San Diego is sponsoring the following rain barrel events in partnership with the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation. Learn more or pre-order.

  • January 30, 9am to 12pm – Sweetwater Community Garden – 5354 Sweetwater Road – Bonita – Rain barrels must be pre-ordered online by January 24. 
  • February 6, 9am to 12pm – Lakeside Community Center – 9841 Vine Street – Lakeside – Rain barrels must be pre-ordered online by January 31. 
  • Ongoing during Solana Center store hours – Rain barrels may be picked up after purchase during store hours Thursday 12pm to 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 1pm at Solana Center’s headquarters in Encinitas.


Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

clean water


January 9, 10:30 am to 11:30 am – Keep It Clean Webinar: How Our Pollutants Travel – Join I Love a Clean San Diego and the County of San Diego for a webinar to better understand what common pollutants to look out for in your community, how pollutant migration happens, and how to help prevent them from entering our ocean and other waterways. Learn more or register



Find My District


Report Stormwater Pollution
Report observed pollution to the correct jurisdiction.

Citizen Access Portal
Research property information and permits. Apply for some permits online.

GIS Maps
Find property information including zoning designation with our web-based mapping tool. 

Watershed Protection Website


project clean water

Project Clean Water efforts are focused on providing a centralized point of access to water quality information and resources for San Diego County Watersheds. Click HERE to visit Project Clean Water’s website. 

To learn more about the County of San Diego - Watershed Protection Program, please visit sandiegocounty.gov/stormwater