January 2022 - Virtual Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

county of san diego watershed protection program

Virtual Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

January 2022

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 Community Cleanups Several in-person neighborhood cleanups are being offered in January to divert litter from their respective watersheds.

  • January 8, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors Bonita Community Litter Cleanup – Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 9am and then collect trash from around the Bonita community to divert litter from the Sweetwater watershed. Learn more or register.
  • January 13, 3pm to 5pm – Sunset Sweep: Hollywood Canyon Community Cleanup – Join I Love A Clean San Diego, San Diego Canyonlands, and Think Blue for an in-person litter cleanup in Hollywood Canyon community. Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 3pm and then get out there to beautify your canyon neighborhood and divert trash from traveling to the Pacific Ocean. Learn more or register.
  • January 15, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors Spring Valley Community Litter Cleanup – Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 9am and then collect trash from around the Spring Valley community to divert litter from the Sweetwater watershed. Learn more or register.
  • January 22, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors Flinn Springs Community Cleanup – Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 9am and then collect trash from around the Flinn Springs community to divert litter from the San Diego River 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 January.

  • Saturday River Rescue Cleanups January 8, 15, 22, and 29, 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 and will be emailed to you the Wednesday prior to the event. Learn more or register for the January 8th, January 15th, January 22nd, and January 29th events.
  • 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.


Surfrider San Diego Beach Cleanups – Ongoing – Join the San Diego chapter of the Surfrider Foundation in its 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.


Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve – Friday Stewardship Sessions – January 7, 14, 21, and 28, 9am to 12pm – Join stewardship volunteers on Fridays in January in caring for the resources of the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve by establishing, restoring, and maintaining the native plant gardens and habitat, removing graffiti and litter, and helping to clean up the beaches. Learn more or register for the January 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th events.


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.




Landscape & Gardening Events



WaterSmart Residential Landscape and Irrigation Online Webinars and Training – The San Diego County Water Authority’s WaterSmart Program is providing the following free online events during the month of January. These classes are sponsored in part by Member Agencies and the County of San Diego.

  • 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 in convenient, two-hour live webinars twice weekly. In-person exams are FREE. A $30 exam proctoring fee applies to optional online exams. Learn more.
    • January 11 through February 15, 6pm to 8pm – Certification exam is available in-person or online the week of February 21. Register.
    • January 20 through March 3, 11am to 1pm – Certification exam is available in-person or online the week of March. 14. Register.
  • January 12 (enrollment deadline) for Winter Wednesdays WaterSmart Landscape Makeover, 4-Class Series, February 2 through February 23, 5:30pm to 8:30pm – 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. Includes lectures, hands-on lab work, demonstrations, homework assignments and one-on-one coaching by local landscape and irrigation professionals. You must commit to attending all four classes in the series. Funded in part by County of San Diego Water Protection Program. Learn more and apply for virtual waitlist.
  • January 15, 9am to 12pm – Plan Ahead: Understanding Soil and Site Assessments – Learn the steps needed to turn water-thirsty turf into a beautiful and sustainable landscape. Rethink, redesign and renovate your landscape and the important role of healthy soil in a successful landscape. Learn more or register.
  • January 29, 9am to 12pm – Design: Shape Your Space – Learn how to integrate your new landscape into your personal lifestyle including how to plan for the functionality of your new space and provide tips to achieve a design style that fits your personal style. Learn more or register.


University of California (UC) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Instructor Training Workshops via Zoom (fee $650) – January 28, 8am to 4:30pm (Spanish class held February 4th) – UC IPM will be holding a pesticide safety training workshop to fieldworkers and pesticide handlers as required by California state regulations and the EPA revised Worker Protection Standard. Training is approved by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). Registration fee includes a fieldworker training kit and other educational materials mailed out prior to training date. Registration closes January 19thfor English class and January 26th for Spanish. Learn more or register.


University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) ProgramHealthy Garden - Healthy Home Online Workshops  The UCCE IPM program is offering a variety of pest management and water resources online workshops during the month of January.

  • January 15, 10am to 11:30am – Starting to Grow Your Own Food?  Learn How to Win the Battle Against Pests from the Start Workshop!  Learn how to keep your plants healthy and prevent pests from the start. Learn more or register.
  • January 29, 10am to 11:30am – Controlling Ants the Healthy Way Workshop!  Learn how to make your garden less attractive to ants and why spraying chemicals does not provide effective ant control. Learn more or register.



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

  • January 19, 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. Learn more or register.
  • January 29, 11am to 12pm – Winter Growers (fee $10 members; $15 non-members) – Learn which drought-tolerant plants are best to plant now to soak up winter rainfalls, including California natives. Dean Karras, founder of Gnosis Nursery in Ramona, shares beautiful aloes, dudleya, cool weather Mediterranean plants, and unique succulents. Get a free plant with registration! Learn more or register.



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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Garden Design WorkshopLearn 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.
  • 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.
  • Irrigation & Water Use Efficiency – Learn how to design a yard using the principles of watershed wise landscaping. Topics include overview of an irrigation system, programming a controller, why drip over spray, and easy ways to conserve water.



Waste Reduction Events

New Year_Recycle Trees

Make your zero-waste New Year’s resolution now!


I Love A Clean San Diego Waste Reduction Events – Join I Love A Clean San Diego and its partners in the following waste reduction events during the month of January.

  • January 19, 5pm to 6pm – Celebrate Sustainably: New Year’s Resolutions Webinar – Learn new zero waste tips for small space living, including space saving swaps, DIY recipes, composting without an outdoor space, and low waste habits in niche areas of your life, namely pets and hobbies. Provided in partnership with the City of San Diego. Learn more or register.
  • January 29, 10am to 11am – Save Your Scraps Webinar – Learn ways to reduce food waste and how to recycle right in the kitchen, including tips on meal prepping, food storage, low-waste cooking, and how to properly dispose of food waste through the County’s new curbside organics recycling program. Provided in partnership with the County of San Diego Recycling. Learn more or register.


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

  • January 22, 29 and February 5, 1pm to 4:30pm – On-Farm Composting Course (fee $25) – In this 3-week composting course that focuses on farms, ranches, or large properties, you’ll learn composting management techniques from basics to troubleshooting; siting to vector control; and regulatory considerations to soil benefits. Course combines lectures, hands-on training, and a field trip to operational composting facilities. Sponsored by the County of San Diego Recycling. Site provider Terra Madre Gardens, Escondido. Learn more or register.
  • January 19, 10am to 2pm – 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.  


On-Site and Virtual Compost Workshops – The Living Coastal Discovery Center and City of Chula Vista are offering the following compost workshops in January where participants will learn the basics on how to start their own compost pile and turn food waste into nutrient-rich soil. Pre-recorded video compost workshops also available. Learn more or register.

  • Every Sunday in January, 2pm to 3pm – On-Site Workshop free with admission
  • January 2, 2pm to 3pm – Virtual Workshop


December 24 through January 25 (dates vary depending on city) – Countywide Christmas Tree Recycling – Help divert your Christmas tree from the landfill following your holiday festivities! Many communities in San Diego County have options for Christmas tree recycling at your curbside collection, or at various drop-off locations. Curbside collection and drop-off dates start as early as December 24th and run as late as January 25th and include both incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county. For more details on dates and locations, see the curbside recycling and drop-off site guides.


December 26th through January 23rd – 48th Annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program – City of San Diego – The City of San Diego is holding its 48th 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.





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