October 2021 - Virtual Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

county of san diego watershed protection program

Virtual Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

October 2021

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

Cleanup Events



I Love A Clean San Diego Community Cleanups Several in-person and remote neighborhood cleanups are being offered in October. Participants can join in one of two ways – in-person at the actual cleanup site, or remotely in their own neighborhoods. Trash will be collected to divert litter from their respective watersheds.

  • October 2, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors Alpine Community Litter Cleanup – Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site or by Zoom (if remote) at 9am and then collect trash from around the Alpine community to divert litter from the San Diego River watershed. Learn more or register.

  • October 7, 3pm to 5pm – Sunset Sweep: Juniper Canyon Neighborhood Litter Cleanup – Join I Love A Clean San Diego, San Diego Canyonlands, and Think Blue for an in-person or remote litter cleanup in Juniper Canyon. Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site or by Zoom (if remote) at 3pm and then get out there to beautify your canyon neighborhood and divert trash from traveling through the San Diego Bay watershed! Learn more or register.

  • October 9, 10am to 12pm – Oktoberfest Community Cleanup with JuneShine and Think Blue – Join I Love A Clean San Diego, JuneShine Hard Kombucha, and Think Blue San Diego for a litter cleanup in North Park! Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site or by Zoom (if remote) at 10am and then get out there to clean up trash from around the neighborhood and divert it from traveling through the San Diego Bay watershed! Learn more or register.

  • October 16, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors De Luz Community Cleanup – Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site or by Zoom (if remote) at 9am and then collect trash from around the De Luz community to divert litter from the Santa Margarita watershed. Learn more or register.

  • October 23, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors Pine Valley Community Litter Cleanup – Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site or by Zoom (if remote) at 9am and then collect trash from around the Pine Valley community to divert litter from the Tijuana watershed. Learn more or register.


San Diego River Park Foundation River Cleanups and Water Quality Monitoring Events – Several river cleanups and water quality monitoring events are being offered in October.

  • Saturday River Rescue Cleanups October 16 and 23, 9am to 12pm – Come out and assist with river cleanups and support a healthy river while interacting with a group of like-minded people! Locations change weekly. Learn more or register for the October 16th and October 23rd events.

  • RiverBlitz – Come out to collect and document stormwater debris along various stretches of the San Diego River. Locations vary.

  • Water Quality Monitoring Events – Come join the RiverWatch team in various locations to see how they monitor the water quality of the San Diego River.

  • The Great River Cleanup – October 30, 9am to 12pm – Save the Date! A huge cleanup will be held along the river using the data collected from the RiverBlitzs earlier in the month. Details are to be determined. Learn more or register.


San Diego Coastkeeper Six Cleanup Challenge – Form a group and participate in the Six Cleanup Challenge to positively impact communities and outdoor spaces up and down the watershed. Pick up trash from two challenge sites in three categories – coastal, inland, and urban – and receive a certificate of completion and appreciation packet as a prize. Learn more and see list of challenge sites.


Surfrider San Diego Beach Cleanups and Clean Water Awareness Event – Join the San Diego chapter of the Surfrider Foundation in its ongoing beach and neighborhood cleanups and clean water awareness event.

  • Ongoing – Solo Cleanups – Participate in safe, physically distant ‘solo’ cleanups on your own – at the beach, in your neighborhood, at your local park – or anywhere in your watershed. Learn more about solo cleanup guidelines, how to tally your trash cleanup activity, and how you can make a difference in preventing trash from reaching the beach in the first place.

  • October 2, 9am to 11am – Oceanside Pier Cleanup – Participate in a beach and street cleanup at/around Oceanside Pier the first Saturday of each month and help play an active role in determining the sources of trash on our beaches. Learn more

  • October 2, 9am to 11am – Ocean Beach Pier Cleanup – Participate in a beach and street cleanup at/around Ocean Beach Pier the first Saturday of each month and help play an active role in determining the sources of trash on our beaches. Learn more.  

  • October 3, 9am to 1:30pm – Paddle for Clean Water Awareness Event – Ocean Beach Pier – Participate in the 29-year tradition Paddle for Clean Water event to raise awareness and funds to protect clean water and healthy beaches in San Diego County. This free family-event includes a paddle-out around the pier (surfboards, stand up paddleboards, kayaks, other paddle craft), beach yoga, live music, paddler breakfast, and epic prize drawing. Learn more or register.

  • October 16, 9am to 11am – Moonlight State Beach Cleanup Participate in a beach and street cleanup at/around Moonlight State Beach the third Saturday of each month and help play an active role in determining the sources of trash on our beaches. Learn more


12th Annual Tijuana River Action Month (TRAM) – Through October 16 – Join the Tijuana National Estuarine Research Reserve as they continue their month-long event into October. TRAM is a series of education and stewardship events held during September and October to benefit the Tijuana River Watershed. TRAM will provide a hybrid series of events this year including a variety of online workshops, livestreams, art contests, clean-ups, restoration events, and more. Events will take place on both sides of the border and anyone can participate from either side. Learn more.



Landscape & Gardening Events



WaterSmart Residential Landscape and Irrigation Online Programs – The San Diego County Water Authority’s WaterSmart Program is providing free residential webinars on landscape design and irrigation management during the month of October and throughout 2021. These classes are sponsored in part by Member Agencies and the County of San Diego.

  • October 5 – November 9, 6pm to 8pm – Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) Certificate Training – From watersheds, water budgets and hydraulics, to application rates, controller programming and soils, you’ll learn the science and principles of water-efficient landscapes through the QWEL training certification. This free 20-hour course is spread out from October 5th through November 9th in convenient, two-hour live webinars twice weekly. An optional FREE exam is available in-person or online the week of November 15th. A $30 exam proctoring fee applies to online exams. Learn more or register.

  • October 6, 5:30pm to 8:30pm – Plan Ahead: Understanding Soil and Site Assessments – Learn how to rethink, redesign and renovate your landscape and the important role of healthy soil in a successful landscape. Learn more or register.

  • October 20, 5:30pm to 8:30pm Design: Shape Your Space – Learn how to integrate your landscape into your personal lifestyle. Learn more or register.


California Native Plant Society, San Diego Chapter – The following events are being offered during the month of October.

  • October 5, 7pm to 8:15pmSan Diego’s Insects and Their Dependence on Native Plants – Join Daniel Marschalek, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Central Missouri, for a discussion on the relationship between insects, native plants and habitat quality. Learn more or register.
  • October 9, 9am to 3pm – California Native Plant Festival – This first annual California Native Plant Festival will offer a selection of San Diego chapter-grown native plants for sale as well as feature a variety of native plant-themed activities for both kids and adults, including artists, vendors, exhibitors, and live music. Learn more.


The Water Conservation Garden – The following garden events will be offered in October.

  • October 20, 9:30am – Storytime with Ms. Smarty-Plants – Join Ms. Smarty-Plants™ on the 3rd Wednesday of every month for a featured holiday-themed story followed by a craft. Storytime is free with Garden Admission. Wear a costume for "Not So Spooky Storytime!" Learn more or register.

  • October 21, 10am to 11:30am – Hillside Planting Ideas – Learn about planting solutions for those hard to plant spaces like slopes and hillsides to help protect our precious watersheds from runoff pollution. Learn more or register.


Alta Vista Botanical Gardens Fall Fun Festival – October 16, 10am to 3pm – (garden entry fee $5 for non-members) – This year’s festival includes a plant sale, fall activities, jewelry and craft vendors, live music, and a variety of kids’ crafts including a Scarecrow Contest for scarecrows constructed at home. Food will also be available for sale. Learn more.


University of California (UC) Urban and Community Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Webinar SeriesOctober 21, 12pm to 1pm – Controlling Ants Around the Home – Learn about ant management for homes and structures. Presented by Dr. Siavash Taravati, Area IPM Advisor for Los Angeles County. Learn more about the webinar series or register.


San Diego Sustainable Living Institute Fall 2021 Online Permaculture Design Certificate Course – Select Dates October through December – 10am to 1pm – (fees vary) – The Permaculture Design Certificate Course will cover the principles of building a resilient community that address earth repair, climate stabilization, carbon sequestering, and ecological gardening. Learn about the connections between people, the earth, plants, energy, climate, water, transportation, shelter, animals, economics and much more. For those who desire more hands-on training, a limited number of spaces are being offered for a 5-day in-person course. Learn more and see sign-up options and fee page.



Landscape and Water-Savings Webinars – A series of landscape and water-savings webinars are being offered throughout the month of October. Dates and times vary. Hosted in part by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. See calendar and learn more or register.

  • California-Friendly Native Plant 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.

  • Rainwater Harvesting – Learn how to design your yard using watershed-wise landscaping including criteria and considerations when selecting rain capture methods such as swales, berms, cisterns, and integrating hardscapes.

  • Planters: Raised and In-Ground – Learn how to choose planter beds, construct raised planters, create the right soil set-up, and manage irrigation to minimize plant loss.

  • Turf: Remove, Replace, or Maintain Organically (English and Chinese) Learn how to design your yard using principles of watershed-wise landscaping including removing your lawn without chemicals, building healthy soil, and selecting climate-appropriate and water-wise plants.

  • Garden Design Workshop (English and Chinese)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.

  • Deciphering Your Irrigation Controller – Learn about your irrigation controller including understanding irrigation’s role in maintaining a soil moisture balance, outlining the purpose of a weather-based controller, reviewing basic terminology and programming principles, identifying special functions like cycle & soak, and troubleshooting typical problems.

  • Drip Irrigation Maintenance & Trouble Shooting – Learn how to save your landscape by understanding soil moisture balance, key components of a properly installed drip system, typical problems with drip and how to avoid them, and developing a successful maintenance practice.

  • Firescaping: Reducing the Vulnerability – Learn some of the ways you can make your home less vulnerable to fires including determining key points of vulnerability, understanding the role of soil moisture balance, reviewing landscape maintenance practices for protection, and planning a fire-resistant landscape.

  • Irrigation and Water Use Efficiency – Learn how to design a yard using the principles of watershed-wise landscaping including an overview of an irrigation system, programming a controller, why ‘drip’ over ‘spray,’ and easy ways to conserve water.




Waste Reduction Events


Garden waste collected in green waste bags


Solana Center for Environmental Innovation Waste Reduction Webinars Events – The following residential and business waste reduction events are being offered in October.

  • Food Waste Reduction Webinars (English and Spanish) – Sponsored by SD Environmental Services.

    • October 13, 12pm to 1pm – Smart Ways to Reduce Food Waste – Reducing food waste helps to protect the environment and save you money. Learn how to prevent food waste at home during this webinar. Learn more or register.

  • Backyard Composting Basics Webinars – Learn how to improve the quality of your soil, and reduce waste and air pollution, while saving energy, money, and water. Sponsored by SD Environmental Services and City of La Mesa.

  • October 27, 3pm to 4pm – Small Scale Composting with Aerated Static Piles – Learn how to protect your local watershed and produce a fantastic soil amendment from composting. This webinar will demonstrate how to minimize your labor using a mechanized aerated system. Offered in partnership with San Diego County Farm Bureau, this is Part 1 of a 4-part Farm & Ranch Composting Series. Sponsored in part by County of San Diego Recycling. Learn more or register. Additional dates include November 3rd, November 10th, and November 17th .

  • October (scheduled pickup to be determined) – Free E-Business Waste Pickup – Coastal North County Cities – A FREE e-waste pick-up service is being offered to businesses in coastal North County cities. Register by the second Friday of the month. Urban Corps will contact you to confirm pick-up. Offered in partnership with Urban Corps. Learn more or register.


The Living Coastal Discovery Center and City of Chula Vista On-Site and Virtual Compost Workshops – The following compost workshops are regularly being offered:

  • Every Sunday in October, 2pm to 3pm – On-site Compost Workshops – Learn the basics on how to start their own compost pile and turn food waste into nutrient-rich soil. On-site workshops free with admission. Learn more or register.


SD Environmental Services One-Day Collection Events – City of San Diego – The following household hazardous waste (HHW) collection events in San Diego will be held during the month of October. Learn more.

  • October 9, 9am to 1pm – Mission Bay South Shores (boat launch).
  • October 23, 9am to 1pm – City of San Diego, Public Utilities Department (parking lot).


Stormwater Pollution Prevention & Education

SDG_Lake Hodges

Lake Hodges - San Dieguito Watershed


San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy – Community Watershed Explorers, Family Event – Every Saturday in October (Locations Vary), 10am to 12pm – Watershed Explorers is an outdoor education program that provides youth an opportunity to travel and explore various locations along the length of the San Dieguito Watershed. Participants will learn about the many facets of the watershed and develop a “sense of place” and appreciation for the environment – recognizing the role they play in preserving and protecting the natural and cultural resources of the watershed. Learn more or register.


Center for Watershed Protection 2021 Watershed and Stormwater Management Virtual Events – (fees vary; member and non-member pricing) – The Center for Watershed Protection will be hosting a watershed and stormwater management webcast and sustainable watershed/agriculture symposium during the month of October.

  • October 20, 10am to 11:30am (Pacific Time) – Post-Construction Stormwater Management Webcast – This webcast explores innovations and trends in post-construction stormwater management, with case studies featuring program components and budgets, as well as best management practices. Individual webcast pricing is available. Learn more or register.
  • October 26 and 27, 6:45am to 12pm (Pacific Time) 2021 Sustainable Watersheds and Agriculture Virtual Symposium – This event provides an opportunity for watershed and resource conservation professionals to discuss and learn about the role agriculture can play in improving watershed health and water quality. Attendees will include watershed managers, agricultural practice specialists, and researchers from around the country. Space is limited and registration closes on October 20th. Learn more or register.


California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA) 17th Virtual Annual Conference – Recovery & Resilience: Achieving Sustainable Stormwater Management (fees vary; member and non-member pricing) – October 26 and 27, 8am to 4pm – This year’s virtual conference will offer in-depth learning opportunities and discussions on a wide range of stormwater and water management topics, with a focus around resilience and recovery. Multi-track technical presentations, panels, training workshops, and presenter Q&A sessions will be live-streamed, along with a virtual exhibit hall and other networking opportunities. Registration closes October 15th at 5pm. 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


New 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