December 2022 - Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

county of san diego watershed protection program

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

December 2022

We all play a part in preventing stormwater pollution. Here are some ways to get involved in December 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 December to divert litter from their respective watersheds and local communities.

  • December 3, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors: Lakeside Cleanup Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 9am and then collect trash from around Lakeside to divert litter from the San Diego River. Offered in partnership with the County of San Diego. Learn more or register.
  • December 3, 9am to 11 am – Mira Mesa Community Cleanup Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 9am and then collect trash from the community to keep it from traveling to the Pacific Ocean. Offered in partnership with Council District 6 and SDG&E. Learn more or register.
  • December 8, 3pm to 5pm – Sunset Sweep: Kensington Canyon Community Cleanup Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 3 pm and then get out there to collect trash and beautify the Kensington Canyon neighborhood. Offered in partnership with San Diego Canyonlands and Think Blue San Diego. Learn more or register.
  • December 10, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors: Bonita Cleanup – Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 9am and then collect trash from around Bonita to divert litter from the Sweetwater River. Offered in partnership with Sweetwater Regional Park and the County of San Diego. Learn more or register.


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.

  • December 3, 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 or register.
  • December 3, 9am to 11am Oceanside Beach Cleanup (Surfrider) – Help with a beach and street cleanup at Oceanside Beach. Meet at the north side of the pier on the beach. Learn more or register.
  • 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.


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 December. 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.


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

  • December 3, 9am to 10:30amRancho La Costa Preserve, Carlsbad. Learn more.
  • December 10, 9am to 10:30amRancho La Costa Preserve, Carlsbad. Learn more.
  • December 17, 9am to 10:30am El Corazon, Oceanside. Learn more.
  • December 24, 9am to 10:30amRancho La Costa Preserve, Carlsbad. Learn more.
  • December 31, 9am to 10:30amRancho La Costa Preserve, Carlsbad. Learn more.


San Diego River Park Foundation – The following river cleanup, field assessment, and water quality monitoring events are being offered throughout the month of December. 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 December 1st, December 8th, December 15th, December 22nd, and December 29th.
  • December 4 and 18, 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 December 4th and December 18th.
  • December 8, 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.
  • December 10, 9am to 12pm Clean & Green River Cleanup – Support a healthy river while interacting with a group of like-minded people by helping the core volunteer team with River Cleanups! Learn more or sign up.
  • December 16 (East County) and 18 (West County), 8am to 12pm – RiverWatch East and West Team Monthly Water Quality Monitoring Come join the RiverWatch East and West teams to learn how to monitor the water quality of the San Diego River. Learn more or sign up for the events on December 16th and December 18th
  • December 21, 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.


Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve – Friday Stewardship Sessions – December 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, 9am to 12pm – Join stewardship volunteers on Fridays in December 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 December 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th events.


The Living Coastal Discovery Center – Team Up to Clean Up Event – D Street Fill Planting Chula Vista – December 4, 8:30am to 11am – Participate in this restoration event to help D Street in Chula Vista by planting and cleaning up trash from parks and waterways and supporting local wildlife. Learn more or register.



Landscape & Gardening Events



WaterSmart Residential Landscape and Irrigation Events – The San Diego County Water Authority’s WaterSmart Program is providing the following free workshops and landscape training events during the month of December as well as past workshop recordings. These events are sponsored in part by Member Agencies and the County of San Diego.

  • Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) Certificate Training – From soils to water budgets, audits, and controller programming, you’ll learn the science and principles of water-efficient landscapes through this free QWEL training certification. Optional certification exams are available in-person or online. In-person exams are FREE. A $30 exam proctoring fee applies to online exams. Both in-person and online sessions are being offered.
    • Fridays (in-person, Escondido), December 2 through December 16, 7:30am to 2pm. Learn more or register.
    • Tuesdays (live webinar), December 6 through January 24, 11am to 1pm. Learn more or register.
  • WaterSmart 3-Hour Landscape Online Workshops Participate in a free online workshop taught by a local landscape design professional with a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach.
    • December 14, 5:30pm to 8:30pm – Installation & Maintenance: Protecting Your Investment Learn strategies for success in removing your turf and installing and maintaining your landscaping. Learn more or register.
    • Past Recordings View past workshops.


San Diego Audubon Habitat Restoration Events – The following work parties and restoration events will be offered during the month of December. The focus will be to help restore coastal dune habitat by removing invasive plants, replanting native plants, and conducting other land management activities.

  • December 3, 9am to 12pm Native Planting Party at Grande Caribe Shoreline Park – Join San Diego Audubon in restoring habitat for birds and other local wildlife, removing invasive weeds, and planting native plants. Learn more or RSVP.
  • December 10, 9am to 11amRose Creek Native Plant Garden Work Party – 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 RSVP.
  • December 17, 9am to 12pm – Habitat Restoration at North Fiesta Island – Join San Diego Audubon in removing invasive weeds to restore nesting habitat for the California Least Tern, a federally endangered migratory seabird. Learn more or RSVP.
  • December 17, 9am to 11amWander the Wetlands and Restoration Work Party – 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. Offered in partnership with UC San Diego Natural Reserve System and San Diego Audubon Society. Learn more.


UC Master Gardener Program – Healthy Soils Week – December 5 through 9 – Learn tips to keep your soil healthy through a series of live (Facebook) and recorded events (YouTube) during Healthy Soils Week. Healthy soil has many benefits including improving water and air quality, increasing water infiltration and retention, reducing sediment and erosion, and more. Events are still being added to the week’s schedule. Check back for up-to-date information.


San Diego Botanic Garden 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 the December calendar for specific SAPLinGS dates of interest and to learn more.


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

  • December 9, 5:30pm to 7:30 pm – Very Merry Garden with Ms. Smarty-Plants (fee $11 adults; $5 kids 12 and under) – Ms. Smarty-Plants hosts a magical evening at the Garden including an ornament make & take, photos with Santa, DIY craft corner for members, and more. Learn more and buy tickets.
  • December 21, 9:30am to 10:30am Lil’ Sprouts Storytime with Ms. Smarty-Plants – 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, December 16th. Learn more or register.


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

  • Garden Design Workshop (ENGLISH AND SPANISH)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 and siting the rainwater capture area.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Total Irrigation Run Time – Learn how to establish and manage irrigation schedules. Topics include determining plant water requirements and water availability, understanding precipitation rates, and managing the irrigation controller to adjust to real conditions on the ground and in a drought. Hosted in partnership with Southern California Gas Company.


Alta Vista Botanical Garden – Kids in the Garden Saturday Classes – December Topic: Scavenger Hunt for Nature’s Treasures – December 10, 10am to 12pm – (garden entry fee $5 for non-members) – Kids and their families are invited to Saturday classes featuring hands-on activities, conservation lessons, and tours of the Gardens. December’s topic takes you on a walk through the Gardens with Farmer Jones to discover intriguing plants and garden features. Learn more or register.



Waste Reduction Events



I Love a Clean San Diego (ILACSD) Waste Reduction Events Valley Center Clothing SWAP – December 7, 1pm to 4pm – Join ILACSD for their December 7th food distribution event in collaboration with the San Diego County Library Branches and Feeding San Diego Mobile Truck deliveries for a clothing SWAP to support families with free clothing and eliminate clothing waste that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill. Trade your clothing items for other goods at no cost. By participating in the swap, you are helping to conserve natural resources, reduce the environmental footprint of producing new goods, and building community. Sponsored by the County of San Diego. Learn more.


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

  • December 3, 10am to 11am – Green Living Tour – Learn how to live a more sustainable lifestyle with some easy steps to address issues around water, waste, and soil health. You’ll see sustainability in action as you explore worm bins, grey water systems, innovative compost projects, a water-wise garden, a tool lending library, and more. Tour is free with a suggested donation of $10. Learn more.
  • December 14 – 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 (December 9) 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.


City of San Diego Environmental Services Waste Reduction Events – The following waste reduction events are being offered by the City of San Diego during the months of December and January.

  • December 10, 9am to 1pmOne-Day Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Event – A one-day HHW collection event will be held at Caminito Chollas Yard, corner of College Grove and Caminito Chollas. Learn more.
  • December 26th through January 23rd – 49th Annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program – City of San Diego – The City of San Diego is holding its 49th 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 Living Coastal Discovery Center – The following events are being offered in December:

  • 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 December, 2pm to 3pm On-site workshop free with admission.
    • December 4, 2pm to 3pm Virtual workshop. Chula Vista residents can purchase a Soil Saver compost bin for $35 after attending virtual workshop.


Green Oceanside Dump Day – December 10, 9am to 12pm – A free dump day is being offered by Green Oceanside in partnership with Neighborhood Services and Code Enforcement. Drive up and dump your large items and e-waste at Mance Buchanon Park (425 College Blvd). No household hazardous waste (HHW) will be accepted. Learn more.



Stormwater Pollution Prevention & Education




I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) Storm Drain Stenciling Week Events: City of San Diego – December 3 through 10 Help prevent stormwater pollution by joining ILACSD and Think Blue San Diego for a variety of events in December leading up to Storm Drain Stenciling Day on December 10th.

  • December 3, 9am to 11am – Storm Drain Stenciling Kit Assembly Day – Support Storm Drain Stenciling Day by prepping kits for volunteers to stencil storm drains. Learn more or register.
  • December 5-9, 8am to 5pm – Storm Drain Stenciling Week Kit Checkout – Help stencil storm drains around your neighborhood (City of San Diego) on your own time if you can’t make it on Storm Drain Stenciling Day on December 10th. Pick up your kit from the ILACSD office anytime the week before Storm Drain Stenciling Day. Learn more or register.
  • December 10, 9am to 11am – Storm Drain Stenciling Day – Come together as a community to walk select neighborhoods and stencil drains with a conservation message. Stenciling kits and maps will be provided to help you find drains. Learn more or register.



Center for Watershed Protection – 2022 Webcast Series: Webcast 10 – Stormwater Retrofitting ($$ fees vary) – December 7, 10am to 11:30am Pacific Time – This webcast will focus on the restoration of urban and suburban watersheds through implementing practices such as permeable pavement and bioretention to intercept and treat runoff to reduce pollutant loads or reduce runoff volume, and how to avoid the pitfalls of common designs. Note webcast timeslots are listed as Eastern time. 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