San Diego Coastkeeper
Mission: San Diego Coastkeeper protects the region’s bays, beaches, watersheds and ocean for the people and wildlife that depend on them. We balance community outreach, education, and advocacy to promote stewardship of clean water and a healthy coastal ecosystem.
History: Coastkeeper is a locally-based non-profit organization and is San Diego’s official agency of the international Waterkeeper Alliance, which works to protect the world’s waterways.
San Diego Coastkeeper was launched in 1995 as San Diego Baykeeper in order to combat chronic pollution of San Diego Bay that transformed a once-thriving ecosystem into a highly toxic waterbody. A local, community-based advocacy group, Baykeeper became the 15th approved Waterkeeper program in the country.
Through our community outreach, education and advocacy efforts, thousands of San Diegans are now empowered to be stewards of clean water and a healthy coastal ecosystem. As a result of our efforts:
- Sewage spills have decreased by 70 percent and beach closures by almost 60 percent in the City of San Diego.
- San Diego’s regulations for stormwater and industrial discharge standards are now considered best practices for California and the nation.
- Nearly 20,000 San Diegans have removed over 140,000 pounds of debris from beaches as part of our monthly cleanups and Coastal Cleanup Day.
- More than 3,000 volunteers have helped gather critical data on the health of local waters and kelp beds.
- Annually, more the 10,000 local school children receive water quality and pollution prevention lessons through the Project SWELL, our hands-on education program.
After 10 years of successfully fighting pollution of San Diego’s waterways, San Diego Baykeeper became San Diego Coastkeeper in 2005 - a new name for a growing organization whose mission now encompasses protecting all of San Diego County’s bays, beaches, watersheds and ocean.