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Adopt-A-Beach/Adopt-A-Canyon

The Adopt-A-Beach®/Canyon program makes it easy for you to run a cleanup independently at your adopted location! Schedule a date and time that works for you! This program is for all groups of all ages! Volunteers are welcome to participate in litter abatement as often as they would like, but to officially adopt a site your group would have to do a minimum of three cleanups in one year at that location and report your litter data to I Love A Clean San Diego after each one. Volunteers who collect and report detailed litter data from their cleanups can also be recognized through our sign program, at participating locations.

IMPORTANT: This is a self-led, independent cleanup opportunity. I Love A Clean San Diego provides you with material to help you take the lead but no staff will be on site on the day. If you would like I Love A Clean San Diego to plan a custom cleanup for your group from start to finish please check out our Corporate CleanBuilding Program instead.

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Pounds of trash and recycling diverted from our oceans by Adopt-A-Beach/Canyon volunteers since 2019

Litter and other harmful materials travel through our watersheds and end up in our oceans. This is extremely dangerous for Earth’s ecosystems. Plastic marine debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds – like the Albatross (pictured here) – and over 100,000 marine mammals every year.

Litter happens everywhere in San Diego County and it travels unfiltered through our storm drains and natural streams out to our beaches and bays. It is up to us all to keep our beaches and shared spaces clean and safe for all.

As an Adopt-A-Beach/Canyon Volunteer, you will pick up and report essential litter data that provides a snapshot of what is impacting our communities. This data is shared with the California Coastal Commission and Ocean Conservancy to track the state of litter in San Diego County over time. Data from this program helped pass the California Bag Ban, and we hope to continue to create lasting change with your help!

There are 80 adoptable locations throughout San Diego County!

2. Schedule Your Cleanup

Schedule a date and time that works for you at our Community Hub! Please schedule a minimum of 1 month in advance to be reviewed and permitted by I Love A Clean San Diego. Staff will reach out if there are issues with availability.

3. Gather Your Cleanup Supplies

Limited supplies are available at our office for pick up during office hours (Monday – Friday from 9 AM – 4 PM), and closed on holidays. These supplies include disposable gloves, reusable gloves, buckets, trash bags and data cards. We strongly encourage volunteers to use reusable garden gloves from home to reduce the amount of plastic. We are unable to provide trash grabbers at this time.

4. Report Your Data and Return Your Waivers

We do require a signed release-of-liability waiver for all volunteers, and anyone under 18 needs a waiver signed by a guardian. Please download and print the waiver below, sign it and drop it off at the office after you are done with your cleanup (can be up to a week post-cleanup event). 

This program also requires that volunteers report their detailed litter data after their cleanup event. As you collect, you will note how much of each type of litter you picked up. We encourage you all to pick up in teams, with one person as the citizen scientist recording the data! This is important for us to track trends over time, areas in need and create more targeted educational material. Please return your data cards to the office after your cleanup (can be up to a week post-cleanup event) or enter them online at our Community Hub. Please note you will have to report this data each time if you would like to be eligible to adopt a location officially.

5. Repeat for a Grand Total of Three Cleanups at One Location!

Once you have cleaned up a location three times within a year, delivered in all your waivers and reported your litter data you have officially adopted a location! Some locations honor this with a sign of recognition that proudly displays your group’s name for at least six months at the site. On the Community Hub map, you can filter for sites that are eligible for the Signage Program.

We offer educational presentations to first time adopters if requested and approved ahead of time for locations within Central San Diego! These presentations are given to your group before your cleanup. They discuss the watershed system, the effects of marine debris on the environment, the importance of volunteerism, and a brief safety talk. Please note that these presentations are not guaranteed, depend on staff availability, and need to be requested in advance.

If you are interested, please request a presentation via email. Staff contact information is listed at the bottom of this page. 

If a volunteer requires the use of a beach wheelchair, the California Coastal Commission has a map of locations with wheelchairs available free of charge. Click here to view available locations. You will have to contact the beaches directly to make those arrangements.

FAQ

If you require volunteer hours for work, school, or another organization, we are able to provide you with a Letter of Appreciation after you report your data from your cleanup. However, if you are looking to fulfill court-ordered hours, this is not an eligible program, since it is a self-led cleanup. We do offer opportunities that qualify for court-ordered hours through our regularly scheduled and staffed cleanups and volunteer opportunities.

Any age is welcome to participate! Only persons over the age of 13 can make an account but anyone with an account can register a group. Please read the site’s individual webpage closely to make sure it is a good fit for your family.

  1.       Dress for success: Volunteers should wear closed toed shoes, have some form of sun protection (hat and/or sunscreen) as well as bring a water bottle or two! Volunteers in canyon locations with exposure to poison oak should wear light weight long pants and long sleeves for protection.
  2.       Bring all your supplies: We have limited supplies available at our office for pick up during office hours (listed above) but if you would like to be zero waste champions we would recommend bringing reusable garden gloves and a bucket.
  3.     Sign your waivers and complete your data cards: You can print these out at home or pick up some hardcopies at our office during office hours. Please be sure to return them when you have completed your cleanup!

Yes! All participants are required to sign a waiver, and any volunteer under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian signature. Waivers will be available to download on the Community Hub. After your cleanup, please submit the signed waivers back to I Love A Clean San Diego, you can drop them off at the office during office hours (Monday – Friday from 9 AM – 4 PM) or by mail.

No, our Adopt-A-Beach/Canyon program is a self-led, independent cleanup opportunity. I Love A Clean San Diego provides you with material to help you take the lead but no staff will not be on site on the day. If you would like I Love A Clean San Diego to plan a custom cleanup for your group from start to finish please check out our Corporate CleanBuilding Program instead.

Limited supplies are available at our office for pick up at 5797 Chesapeake Court, Suite 200 during office hours. Our office is open Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM, and closed on holidays. Supplies include disposable gloves, reusable gloves, buckets, trash bags and data cards. We strongly encourage volunteers to use only one disposable glove each to save on plastic or bring a pair of garden gloves from home. At our office, you will also be able to pick up hard copies of our waivers and the data cards for your group if you don’t have access to a printer, however we highly recommend printing from home or filling this out online. Due to inventory, we are unable to provide trash grabbers at this time.

Select your cleanup location from the 80 different site options found here! From there you can select a date and time that works for you and register your whole group!

  1.   Choose the location of your cleanup out of our 80 adoptable sites through our Community Hub.
  2.    Once you choose a site, click the button “Click here to schedule a shit” and select the date for your cleanup. 
  3.   If you have an account simply Login. If you are new to our community hub click “New Volunteer” to create an account.
  4.   Enter your group name if applicable, time of cleanup, and number of participants. If this is not part of a group effort, you can enter your name and select 1 under participants.
  5.   Once all of the details have been entered, click save.
  6.   You should receive a confirmation email and staff will reach out if there are any issues with the date and time. 

Some Adopt-A-Beach sites are apart of our signage program. If you clean at one of these sites three times within the calendar year and report your cleanup data, you are eligible for a placard on the sign in the next calendar year!

Katie Felberg Program Coordinator (kfelberg@cleansd.org – 8582565854)

Huge thank you to the California Coastal Commission for sponsoring the Adopt-A-Beach program. Help support programs that support California’s coast by getting your license plate today!

Biolegend, Christina Huang, Francis Fuentebella, Gabby Marquez, Jed Macadangdang, Kevin Donato, Michelle Ledesma, Nathan Lawrence, Navy Federal Credit Union, Neurocrine Biosciences, PRIDE Industries, Room & Board, Rowena Beckett, The Nguyen Family – Promenade, Tochukwu Chidiebere, TVIA-SD1, UCSD Political Science Graduate Students, Zsarah Lynn Tran, Kaitlyn Hart Group, San Diego Surf Ladies, Millennium Health, Molly Reeves, High Tech Elementary, Four Seasons and BV Elementary School, Mystic Point Families, Rosemary’s Haven, North County Academy, Cashin Family, SEA LIFE Aquarium, 2 Legged Mermaid, Mission Hills United Church of Christ, Public Civic Engagement, Gabriela Galvan, Living Coast Discovery Center, Hilltop High Clean Up, E.B.C. Group, Cassandra Garrison, CNATTU N.I FCPO/SSGT Association

Adopt-a-Beach is supported by the WHALE TAIL® Coastal Protection License Plate grant and donations from the Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund. The WHALE TAIL® License Plate is an official specialty license plate issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Proceeds from sales of the plate benefit the Adopt-a-Beach program.

Help support programs that support California’s coast by getting your license plate today!

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Honoree Adopters