January 2023 - Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

county of san diego watershed protection program

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Events

January 2023

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

  • January 14, 9am to 11am – Watershed Warriors: Casa De Oro Cleanup Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 9am and then collect trash from around Casa De Oro to divert litter from the Sweetwater watershed. Offered in partnership with the Casa De Oro Community Alliance and the County of San Diego. Learn more or sign up.

  • January 19, 3pm to 5pm – Sunset Sweep: Navajo Canyon Cleanup Attend the kick-off at the cleanup site at 3pm and then get out there to collect trash from around the Navajo Canyon to divert litter from the San Diego River watershed. Offered in partnership with the Friends of Navajo Canyon, and Think Blue San Diego. Learn more or sign up.

  • January 21, 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. Offered in partnership with Flinn Springs County Park and the County of San Diego. 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.

  • January 7, 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.

  • January 7, 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.

  • January 21, 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. 

  • 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 January. 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 January. 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 January 5th, January 12th, January 19th, and January 26th.
  • January 7, 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.

  • January 8 and 22, 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 January 8th, and January 22nd.  


Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve – Friday Stewardship Sessions – January 6, 13, 20, and 27, 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 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th events.


Aqua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation – January Restoration Event – Hubbs Trail – January 21, 9am to 12pm Participate in the monthly restoration event at Discovery Center Trail to help restore native habitat and maintain trails with fellow community members. Learn more or sign up.



Landscape & Gardening Events



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

  • 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.

    • January 14, 9am to 12pm – Plan Ahead: Understanding Soil and Site Assessments – Learn about the steps needed to turn water-thirsty turf into a beautiful and sustainable landscape including how to rethink, redesign and renovate your landscape and the important role of healthy soil in a successful landscape. Learn more or register.

    • January 21, 9am to 12pm – Design: Shape Your Space – Learn how to integrate your landscape into your personal lifestyle. Learn more or register.

    • January 28, 9am to 12pm – Plants: Inspiring Choices for Our Region – Learn about which plants to use in designing a low-water-use landscape and why some are more water-efficient than others. Learn more or register.

    • Past Recordings View past workshops.


Buena Vista Audubon Weekly Nature Center Garden Work Party Events – January 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, 9am to 12pm – Join the garden crew on Mondays at the Nature Center to do a little maintenance work around the native plant garden and trails. Learn more for the January 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th events.


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

  • January 18, 9:30am to 10:30am Lil’ Sprouts Storytime with Ms. Smarty-Plants Winter 2023 – 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 Monday, January 16th. Learn more or register.
  • January 25, 3pm to 4pm – Planting Water, Growing Soil on Zoom – Looking Swale! Series – Landscape contractors, Wild Made Design, will show you techniques and strategies to regenerate your landscape by ‘planting water’ and ‘growing’ healthy soil. Sponsored by the County of San Diego Watershed Protection Program. Learn more or register.
  • January 28, 10am to 11:30am – Best Ways to Collect Rainwater – Looking Swale! Series – Led by Brook Sarson co-owner of CatchingH20 and local water harvesting pioneer, learn the most effective ways to catch water and divert to your landscape, with and without the barrel. FREE for City of La Mesa Residents and Helix Water District customers at the Community Garden site in La Mesa. Sponsored by the City of La Mesa and the Helix Water District. 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 by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. See calendar and learn more or register.

  • Turf: Remove, Replace, or Maintain Organically 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Goodbye Grass: Qualify for a Turf Replacement Rebate – Learn about replacing your lawn with a watershed-wise landscape, including removing turf without the use of chemicals, replacing it with climate-appropriate plantings, and how to apply for a turf replacement rebate.
  • 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.
  • 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.



Waste Reduction Events

waste reduction_jan_2023


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

  • December 26 through January 27 (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 26th and run as late as January 27th 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.

  • January 19, 5pm to 6pm – Sustainable Landscaping Webinar – Learn methods for connecting to our local environment through sustainable landscaping practices. Topics include water conservation tips, ways to control erosion, gardening habits to avoid or adopt, proper storage and disposal of fertilizers and pesticides, and which types of yard waste can be composted through the new curbside organics recycling program. Offered in partnership with the City of San Diego’s Environmental Services Department. Learn more or register.
  • January 25, 3pm to 4pm – Organics Recycling for La Mesa Businesses Webinar – Learn about new statewide organics recycling regulations, how to meet those requirements, and best practices for businesses of all sizes and industries in the City of La Mesa. Learn more or register.
  • January 25, 5pm to 6pm – Step Up Your Sustainability Webinar – Learn new zero waste tips to implement in your daily life, including eco-friendly product swaps, DIY recipes, how to compost without an outdoor space, how to repurpose old items with new uses, and more. Offered in partnership with the County of San Diego. Learn more or register.


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

  • January 12, 6pm to 7pm – Bokashi Basics Workshop – Alpine – Learn the basics of Bokashi, a fermentation method that allows you to pre-compost ALL your food waste including meat, dairy and liquids, allowing fresh materials to be preserved and composted at your leisure. Funded by the County of San Diego Recycling. Site sponsor Alpine Garden Club.  Learn more or register.

  • January 18 – 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 (January 13) 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.

  • January 26, 2pm to 3pm – SB 1383 Compliance – Commercial Food Waste Prevention Webinar – City of Encinitas Learn strategies to reduce food waste, save money & get ahead of state regulations impacting your Encinitas business. Topics will include impacts of food waste on your business and the environment, food waste legislation (SB 1383), practical tips and strategies to prevent food waste and save money, and guidance on food donation, liability protection, tax incentives and how to get started. Funded by the City of Encinitas. Learn more or register.

  • January 28, 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.

  • January 31, 6:30pm to 7:30pm – Smart Ways to Fight Food Waste Webinar – Learn how reducing food waste at home and compost unavoidable food scraps to help protect the environment and save you money. Offered in partnership with the Fallbrook Climate Action Team. Sponsored by the County of San Diego Recycling. Learn more or register.


City of San Diego Environmental Services 49th Annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program – December 26th through January 23rd 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.

For Countywide locations and information, visit the 2022 Christmas Tree Recycling Guide


The Living Coastal Discovery CenterOn-Site Compost Workshops Every Sunday in January, 2pm to 3pm – Learn the basics on how to start your own compost pile and turn food waste into nutrient-rich soil. On-site workshop free with admission. Learn more. Pre-recorded video compost workshops also available. Sponsored by the City of Chula Vista.




Stormwater Pollution Prevention & Education

pollution prev_jan_2023



Center for Watershed Protection – 2023 Webcast Series: Webcast 1 – New Contaminants of Concern in Our Nations Water ($159 fee) – January 25, 10am to 11:30am Pacific Time – This presentation will provide an overview of the NOAA Marine Debris Program and discuss the types, sources, and impacts of marine debris, including microplastics and microfibers. Topics will also include the Program’s six pillars of prevention, research, monitoring, removal, monitoring and detection, response, and coordination with relevant projects from across the country. 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 sandiegocounty.gov/stormwater