October 2022 - Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

county of san diego watershed protection program

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

October 2022

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 (ILACSD) Community Cleanups The following in-person cleanup events are being offered in October to divert litter from their respective watersheds and local communities.

  • October 1, 9am to 11am – Oktoberfest Cleanup 2022 with Think Blue – Join ILACSD and Think Blue for a cleanup in Loma Portal to divert litter from the San Diego River watershed. Learn more or register.

  • October 8, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors: Alpine Community Cleanup – Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 9 am and then collect trash from around the Alpine community to divert litter from the San Diego River watershed. Offered in partnership with the Alpine Community Center and the County of San Diego. Learn more or register.

  • October 15, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors: Casa De Oro Community Cleanup – Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 9 am and then collect trash from around the Casa De Oro community to divert litter from the Sweetwater watershed. Offered in partnership with Casa De Oro Community Alliance and the County of San Diego. Learn more or register.

  • October 22, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors: Rancho San Diego Community Cleanup – Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 9 am and then collect trash from around the Rancho San Diego community to divert litter from the Sweetwater watershed. Offered in partnership with the County of San Diego. Learn more or register.

  • October 27, 3pm to 5pm – Sunset Sweep: Zena Canyon Community Cleanup – Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 3 pm and then get out there to beautify the Zena Canyon neighborhood and divert trash from the San Diego Bay watershed. Offered in partnership with the Rolando Park Community Council and Think Blue San Diego. Learn more or register


San Diego Canyonlands Cleanup and Restoration Volunteer Events Join San Diego Canyonlands and various communities in their local habitat restoration and cleanup efforts during the month of October. The work at each event varies but can include planting/caring for native plants, removing invasive plants, and removing trash and debris from restoration areas.


San Diego River Park Foundation – The following river cleanup, field assessment, and water quality monitoring events are being offered throughout the month of October. Sign up for events as individuals or as a group.

  • Tuesdays and Fridays, 9am to 12pm – River Assessment Field Teams (RAFT) On Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the month, the RAFT will walk different segments of the San Diego River to identify issues affecting the river, such as trash, debris, and illegal dumping. Learn more or sign up.

  • Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9am to 12pm – River Rescue Cleanups – On Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the month, come out and assist the core volunteer group with river cleanups. Locations change weekly and will be emailed to you the Wednesday prior to the Saturday cleanup events, and on Friday prior to the Wednesday cleanup events. Learn more or sign up.

  • Thursdays, 8am to 10am – Team E.C.O. (Education Center Operations) Cleanups On Thursdays throughout the month, help the E.C.O. care for the site of the future River Center at Grant Park by trimming vegetation, removing graffiti, and picking up trash. Learn more or sign up for the cleanups on October 6th,  October 13th, October 20th, and October 27th.

  • October 5, 4pm to 6:30pm – Sunset Seed Soirée, Ocean Beach As part of the California Clean Air Day Pledge, you’re invited to a Sunset Seed Soirée in Ocean Beach as the sun sets over the ocean. You’ll have a chance to plant native seeds to germinate in your own gardens while awaiting the ‘Green Flash.’ Learn more or sign up.

  • October 9 and 23, 9am to 11am – River Garden Club Cleanup – Help San Diego River Park Foundation staff or volunteers beautify the Point Loma Native Plant Garden and River Mouth at the river estuary. Cleanups take place every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Activities include watering, planting, pruning, weeding, path maintenance, and more! Learn more or sign up for the cleanups on October 9th, and October 23rd.

  • October 13 and 27, 9am to 3pm – El Capitan Invasive Tree Removal – Help remove 2.5 acres of non-native invasive species of tamarisk and arundo from the San Diego Watershed along the El Capitan Reservoir. Learn more or sign up for the events on October 13th and October 27th.

  • October 15 & 16, and 22 & 23, 9am to 12pm – Fall River Blitz – Help conduct a field survey of the lower 20+ miles of the riverbed to document trash and other pollution. Learn more or sign up.

  • October 19, 8am to 12pm – Preserve Steward Day – Join Preserve Stewards in caring for the open space land of the headwaters of the San Diego River by maintaining trails, caring for oak trees, removing invasive non-native plants, caring for native plants, repairing fences, and installing irrigation. Learn more or sign up.

  • October 29, 9am to 12pm – Drone Trash Detection Research – Help collect trash and participate in a research project to study how drones might be used to aid in surveying for trash in natural areas and waterways. Research project conducted in partnership with San Diego State University and NOAA's Marine Debris Program. Learn more or sign up.


Surfrider/Coastkeeper San Diego Beach and Neighborhood Cleanups – Join the San Diego chapters of the Surfrider Foundation and Coastkeeper in their ongoing beach and neighborhood cleanups. Meet at the designated locations below and look for the blue Surfrider or Coastkeeper tent.

  • October 1, 9am to 11amOcean Beach Cleanup (Surfrider) – Help with a beach and street cleanup at Ocean Beach Pier. Meet at Ocean Beach Veterans’ Plaza. Learn more.

  • October 1, 9am to 11am – Oceanside Pier Cleanup (Surfrider) – Help with a beach and street cleanup at Oceanside Pier. Meet on the north side of the pier, on the beach. Learn more.

  • October 2, 9am to 2pm – 30th Annual Paddle for Clean Water – Ocean Beach Pier – Participate in this traditional 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 RSVP.

  • October 8, 9am to 11am – Fiesta Island/Mission Bay (Coastkeeper) – Help clean up around Fiesta Island/Mission Bay. Meet on the sand near the dirt parking lot. Learn more.

  • October 8, 9am to 12pm Monument Mesa Habitat Restoration (Surfrider) – Join the California State Parks Foundation for Tijuana River Action Month to help restore habitat in the park by removing invasive species. Space is limited. Learn more or register.

  • October 15, 9am to 11am – Moonlight State Beach Cleanup (Surfrider) Help with a beach and street cleanup at Moonlight Beach. Meet next to the restrooms. Learn more or register. 

  • October 22, 9am to 11am – Pacific Beach Cleanup (Surfrider) Help with a beach and street cleanup in Pacific Beach. Meet at Crystal Pier. Learn more or register.

  • October 22, 9am to 11am – Riverbed Cleanup and Restoration Event, Otay Valley Regional Park (Coastkeeper) – Help with this cleanup and restoration event to remove debris and invasive species from the riverbed and surrounding trails, as well as install signs to bring awareness to the recreational area. Meet at the 273 Rancho Dr./I-805 river crossing. Learn more.

  • October 26, 5pm to 7pm Celebrate Clean Water (Coastkeeper) – (fee $25) – Enjoy a night of mixing and mingling outdoors at the Bali Hai with environmental advocates, community leaders, elected officials, San Diego Coastkeeper supporters, and partners as they toast to clean water victories. Learn more and purchase tickets.

  • Ongoing – Solo Cleanups (Surfrider) – 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.

  • Six Cleanup Challenge, Flexible Dates/Times (Coastkeeper) 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. Receive a certificate of completion and appreciation packet as a prize. Learn more and see list of challenge sites


Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve – The following cleanup and restoration events will be held during the month of October.

  • Friday Stewardship Sessions – October 7, 14, 21, and 28, 9am to 12pm – Join stewardship volunteers on Fridays in October 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 October 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th events.

  • 13th Annual Tijuana River Action Month (TRAM) – September 17 through October 15 Join the Tijuana National Estuarine Research Reserve in their month-long series of education and stewardship events to benefit the Tijuana River Watershed. TRAM will include a variety of clean-ups, restoration events, workshops, and more. Events will take place on both sides of the border, and anyone can participate from either side. Learn more.


Preserve Calavera Restoration Events Join Preserve Calavera to help with their October restoration events to improve the conditions of local watersheds. Help remove invasive species and/or plant native plants and seeds.

  • Rancho La Costa Preserve, Carlsbad.
  • El Corazon, Oceanside.



Landscape & Gardening Events



WaterSmart Residential Landscape and Irrigation Webinars and Workshops – The San Diego County Water Authority’s WaterSmart Program is providing landscaper training during the month of October as well as past recordings of its 3-hour Landscape Workshops and the option to apply for the waitlist for the 4-hour Landscape Makeover Workshops. Most events are offered online unless otherwise noted. These workshops are sponsored in part by Member Agencies and the County of San Diego.

  • WaterSmart 3-Hour Landscape Online Workshops Past Recordings Participate in free online workshops taught by a local landscape design professional with a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach. View past workshops.

  • WaterSmart 4-Class Landscape Makeover Series The WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series is a free educational program that helps you gather the skills needed to transform your high-water-use lawn into a beautiful, sustainable landscape. Learn more and apply for waitlist.


Master Gardener Association of San Diego – The following events will be offered during the month of October.

  • October 8, 10am to 1pm – National City’s Senior Saturdays, Kimball Park Bring all your gardening questions to be answered by a UCCE certified Master Gardener. They will be there to help with planting, watering, pest control, and virtually anything garden related. Learn more.

  • October 22, 10am to 4pm – Birds, Bees, Flowers & Trees Celebration, Balboa Park – Bring all your gardening questions to be answered by a UCCE certified Master Gardener. They will be there to help with planting, watering, pest control, and virtually anything garden related. Sponsored by the San Diego Floral Association. Learn more.


Rose Creek Native Plant Garden Work Party – October 8, 9am to 11am Join the Friends of Rose Creek to work on The Nature School’s native plant interpretive garden behind Rose Creek Cottage in Pacific Beach. Help weed, water, remove trash and invasive plants, and plant native species. This is an easy one-to-two-hour project and great for children of all ages. Learn more or register.


University of California (UC) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program – The UC IPM is offering the following webinars during the month of October.

  • October 12, 9am to 12pm (ENGLISH); October 26 9am to 12pm (SPANISH) – Pesticide Safety Zoom Workshop, Train-the-Trainer Refresher (fee $300) – This workshop provides a review of the required annual training topics for fieldworkers and handlers. Learn more or register.
  • October 20, 12pm to 1pm – Urban and Community IPM Webinar – Trees for a Changing Climate – Learn about climate-ready trees and their societal and ecosystem benefits. Topics include underplanted heat, drought, and pest-resistant trees. Learn more or register.


California Native Plant Sale October 15, 8am to 3pm – The annual California Native Plant Sale will offer hundreds of species and cultivars of shade trees, water-wise shrubs, native grasses, succulents, and more for sale. Also includes open air garden market featuring local and state sourced seeds and bulbs, botanical art and clothing, educational posters, and books. Experts will be on hand to answer your gardening questions. Learn more.


Alta Vista Botanical Gardens Fall Fun Festival – October 15, 10am to 3pm – This year’s festival includes a plant sale, kids’ activities, craft vendors, live music, and Scarecrow Contest for scarecrows constructed at home. Pick up scarecrow supplies in advance! Food will also be available for sale. Learn more.


San Diego Botanic Garden – The following garden events will be offered in October.

  • October 15, 2pm to 6:30pm – Connect with Plants and People: A Celebration of Local Biodiversity – (2pm to 4pm free with admission or reception ticket; evening reception fee $45 member, $50 non-member) – Attend this event in collaboration with local horticulture and conservation experts to celebrate gardening for biodiversity. Includes learning activities throughout the afternoon, walking tours, and a wide variety of short talks. Evening reception includes food and drinks. Sponsored in partnership with Pacific Horticulture. Learn more or register.
  • Monthly SAPLinGS Sessions – Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, time ranges 10am to 12pm – Children are invited to join for Science, Art, and Play in Garden Spaces (SAPLinGS) activities. Each month the focus will be on a different plant or nature-based theme. Science activities engage kids with cool science and hands-on learning that stimulates curiosity. Art activities focus on projects that spark the imagination. Scroll to October calendar for specific SAPLinGS dates of interest and to learn more.


The Water Conservation Garden – Lil’ Sprouts Storytime with Ms. Smarty-PlantsOctober 19, 9:30am to 10:30am Join Ms. Smarty-Plants™ on the 3rd Wednesday of every month for a featured story followed by a nature craft. Storytime is free with Garden Admission. Registration will close on Friday, October 14th. Learn more or register.


Wander the Wetlands and Restoration Work Party – October 22, 9am to 11am – Wander the Wetlands at Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve and help build Ridgway's rail nesting platforms, tackle invasive species, plant natives, rabbit-proof the restoration area, and more. Learn more.


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 by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. See calendar and learn more or register.

  • 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 to install drip over spray, and easy ways to conserve water.
  • 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.
  • Goodbye Grass: Qualify for a Turf Replacement Rebate – Learn about replacing your lawn with a watershed-wise landscape, and how rebates can help you succeed.
  • Rainwater Capture Advanced Discussion – Learn the importance of capturing the ‘first flush’ to improve stream flow, groundwater sources, Green Water Zone, and reduce pollution in waterways. Topics include proper grading in urban areas, hillside rainwater capture, and the role of cisterns. Hosted in partnership with Sothern California Gas Company.
  • Drip Irrigation Fundamentals – 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 and siting the rainwater capture area.
  • Turf: Remove, Replace, or Maintain Organically (ENGLISH and SPANISH) 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.
  • 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.


San Diego Sustainable Living Institute Fall 2022 11-Week Permaculture Design Certificate Course – October through December – ($$ fees vary) – The Permaculture Design Certificate Course will cover the principles of building a resilient and sustainable community that addresses 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. Includes video instruction, live Q&A sessions, private group messaging, and more. For those who desire more hands-on training, a limited number of spaces are being offered for a 5-day in-person course (optional add-on). Learn more and see sign-up options and fee page.



Waste Reduction Events


Food waste is an excellent source of nutrient rich compost


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

  • October 3rd, 2022, through April 3rd, 2023, Mondays (on Zoom) and Tuesdays (in-person), 6pm to 8pm/8:30pm – “All We Can Save” Sustainability Circle, In-Person or Virtual Dialog ($50 fee plus book) – Participate in deeper dialog around climate crisis and building community around solutions. Dialog based on anthology of writings by 60 women at the forefront of the climate movement. Learn more or register.
  • October 17, 12:30pm to 1:30pm Introduction to Vermicomposting Workshop – Lakeside – Learn the benefits of vermicomposting (worm composting) as an environmentally-friendly way to turn your food waste into nutrient-rich castings for your plants or garden beds. Includes tools, materials, and steps to start a vermicompost bin, how to feed your worms, and which foods are suitable. Funded by the County of San Diego Recycling. Site sponsor Lakeside Garden Club. Learn more or register.
  • October 18, 6pm to 7pm Smart Ways to Fight Food Waste Webinar – City of Encinitas Learn practical and successful methods to prevent food waste in your own kitchen, where and how is food being wasted in the U.S. and around the world, the social, environmental, and economic impacts of food waste, and best options to divert food waste. Funded by the City of Encinitas. Learn more or register.
  • October 19 – Free E-Business Waste Pickup A free e-waste pick-up service is being offered to businesses in San Diego County. Register by the second Friday (October 14) of the month for the following Wednesday pickup. Urban Corps will contact you to confirm pick-up. Offered in partnership with Urban Corps. Learn more or sign up.
  • October 22, 10am to 12pm – Backyard Composting Basics Workshop – City of Encinitas – Learn the basics of traditional backyard composting including importance and benefits of composting, composting bin options, tools and materials, and how to build a compost pile. Funded by the City of Encinitas. Learn more or register.
  • 26 de octubre de 2022, 6pm-7pm– Cómo reducir los desechos de alimentos – seminario web gratuito – Ciudad de San Diego. En este seminario web, cubriremos los siguientes tópicos - métodos prácticos y exitosos para evitar el desperdicio de la comida en su cocina como y donde en los Estados Unidos la comida se esta desperdiciando. También hablaremos de los impactos sociales, ambientales y económicos del desperdicio de comida. Hecho posible gracias a la financiación generosa de Servicios Ambientales de la Ciudad de San Diego. Regístrarse para recibir más detalles.
  • October 29 and November 5, 10am to 12pm – All About Vermicomposting Workshop Series – Spring Valley – Learn how vermicomposting can benefit everyone, whether you want to divert kitchen scraps from the landfill, compost in small spaces, or create a natural fertilizer for your plants. Topics will vary by class and will include visual, hands-on demonstrations of vermicomposting systems. Funded by the County of San Diego Recycling. Site sponsor San Diego County Library. Learn more or register.


I Love a Clean San Diego (ILACSD) Waste Reduction Events – The following waste reduction events are being offered in October.

  • October 12, 4:30pm to 6:30pm – FIX IT! Clothing Repair and Reuse In-Person Workshop – Julian – Learn the sustainable and artistic skills of sewing and mending to upcycle and bring new life to your used/worn clothing and textiles. Attendees will learn how to make a quilting square with scrap material. Event will be held at Julian Elementary School. Offered in partnership with Julian Pathways. RSVP is required. Learn more or register.
  • October 22, 11am to 4pm – Swap Party at the Sustainable Ramona Harvest Festival – Visit ILACSD’s SWAP Party booth at the Ramona Community Garden where you can find first and second-hand clothing pieces in good condition. Participate in the swap by bringing gently used clothing items. You’ll be helping to conserve natural resources, reduce the environmental footprint of producing new goods, and building community. Learn more.


The Living Coastal Discovery Center – The following events are being offered in October:

  • On-Site and Virtual Compost Workshops – Learn the basics on how to start your own compost pile and turn food waste into nutrient-rich soil. Learn more or register. Pre-recorded video compost workshops also available. Sponsored by the City of Chula Vista.
    • Every Sunday in October, 2pm to 3pm On-site workshop free with admission.
    • October 2, 2pm to 3pm Virtual workshop. Chula Vista residents can purchase a Soil Saver compost bin for $35 after attending virtual workshop.



Stormwater Pollution Prevention & Education

October_2022_Pollution Prevention


14th Annual WaterSmart Innovations Conference 2022 – October 4-6, Las Vegas, 7am to 5pm ($$ fees vary) This annual conference will highlight the programs, tools and water-efficiency technologies others have used to educate customers, employees, and future water professionals about the importance of conservation and water efficiency. This year’s format offers professional programs, panel discussions, pre-show workshops, post-show technical tours, poster sessions, and an expansive exhibit hall. Topics include advancing efficient products, drought and water loss management, landscaping, marketing and outreach, and more. Learn more or register.


California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA) 2022 Conference – Celebrating Milestones: Taking the Next Steps for Stormwater– October 24-26 – Palm Springs, 8am to 5pm ($$ fees vary) – This year’s conference will offer in-depth learning opportunities and discussions on a wide range of stormwater and water management topics with a focus on the next steps to further protect our state waterways. Topics will include ways to equitably support water quality and provide resilience in our infrastructure, effectively implement true source control measures, and plan for emerging pollutants of concern. Registration closes October 18th at 5pm. Learn more or register.


Center for Watershed Protection 2022 Webcast Series: Webcast 8 – Urban Forestry – October 26, 10am to 11:30am Pacific Time ($$ fees vary) In this webinar learn about the environmental benefits of forests and research studies to evaluate the runoff and pollutant-reducing impacts of trees in the urban landscape. Note: Time is listed on registration link as Eastern time zone. 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




Learn more about available water quality rebates that you could apply to your property!

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