39th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day

The Ocean Conservancy and the California Coastal Commission partners with volunteer organizations, such as I Love A Clean San Diego to create the largest, international cleanup day. I Love A Clean San Diego leads the efforts for this day in San Diego County for the 39th year in a row. Data collected from this event feeds into the world’s largest database on marine debris. Join our efforts this year to be apart of this global event!

This year, our countywide Coastal Cleanup Day will have around 100 + locations for volunteers to choose from, inland and coastal. Each location is hosted by a site captain (a specially trained volunteer) and they will be in charge of managing the volunteers on site, properly disposing of the trash and reporting back totals.

Click the registration link below to see our main page for more details and the map of locations to choose from. Sites are still being finalized and will not be uploaded on to the map on the CleanupDay.org webpage until registration opens on September 1.

Thank you to our presenting sponsor, Think Blue San Diego, for supporting this event!

Unique Partnership Captures Cross-Border Message

SONY DSCFor today’s blog, ILACSD’s Development & Marketing Coordinator, Sarah, collaborated with Lucy Eagleson, Program Coordinator & Media Educator from Outside the Lens (OTL) to highlight one of ILACSD’s most cherished partnerships. Read on to learn more about how we meshed digital media and environmental stewardship to bring our Kids’ Ocean Day aerial art to life!

First, a little bit of background information about OTL, Lucy and how this partnership came to be.

Lucy spends a lot of her time as a Media Educator in San Diego classrooms, helping students find their voice within and express it through digital media arts. By looking at current and historical photography and films, students come to understand that a picture is often worth a thousand words, and sometimes even more. Lucy enjoys partnering with I Love A Clean San Diego for Kids’ Ocean Day because it brings together her passion for photography and making a difference in our community.

Kids' Ocean Day 2012
Kids’ Ocean Day 2012


ILACSD staff have worked together with OTL for Kids’ Ocean Day for many years now, but this year we threw Lucy a curve ball – a bi-national aerial art image. Without going into too many details, a bi-national aerial art image posed some challenges for Lucy and the Corporate Helicopter team, but at the end of the day we couldn’t be happier with the end result.

Lucy Eagleson - OTL
“I believe in the power of images and the stories they tell. Images speak where words cannot, and carry within them beautiful narratives that have the momentum to move people to change.” – Lucy Eagleson, OTL

Close to 1,200 students, their teachers and volunteers from both sides of the border came together to remove harmful pieces of beach debris along Border Field State Park and Playas de Tijuana. After the cleanup, one-by-one, the students filled into the aerial art outline to form this year’s cross-border aerial art image and commemorate the first-ever bi-national Kids’ Ocean Day! Below is one of our favorite pictures of the aerial art formation coming to life!

Students filling in the aerial art formation and patiently waiting for Lucy in the helicopter to capture the art from the sky!


This stunning image clearly demonstrates that we all need to do our part to protect our environment and that the ocean knows no borders. The message reads “UNITE POR EL MAR” which translates to unite for the sea. This image has received an overwhelming response on social media and from local media alike, for which we are extremely grateful.

First-ever bi-national Kids’ Ocean Day aerial art image!

It goes without saying that a special “thank you” goes out to Outside The Lens, Lucy, and the Corporate Helicopter team for capturing this powerful image!

Be sure to follow and like ILACSD and OTL on your favorite social media networks to stay connected to the great work happening year-round!

Facebook logo Facebook:





https://twitter.com/iloveacleansd – @ilacsd

https://twitter.com/OutsideTheLens – @OutsideTheLens

instagram logo Instagram:




About Outside the Lens – Outside the Lens empowers youth to use digital media to create change within themselves, their community, and the world. Students see how the power of their photos can speak louder than words and even inspire change in the community around them. 



Kids’ Ocean Day Migrates South this Winter!

Erika-teamToday’s blog comes from our Education Coordinator and Kids’ Ocean Day extraordinaire, Erika! Each year, ILACSD invites students to see first-hand how pollution negatively impacts our ocean as well as the opportunity to send a powerful message to the greater San Diego community through aerial art – but this year there is a twist. Read on to see what’s new about this year’s Kids’ Ocean Day and how you can get involved!

What does it look like, when 1000 students, teachers, and volunteers come together to actively conserve the environment? This:

2014 Kids’ Ocean Day aerial art formation
This is the image of the 2014 Kids’ Ocean Day aerial art formation.

 Join us Thursday, February 26th from 8am – noon at Border Field State Park!

For the past 12 years, I Love A Clean San Diego has participated alongside 5 Californian cities to celebrate World Oceans Day through Kids’ Ocean Day; a program funded by the California Coastal Commission. This is a multifaceted event, starting with an ocean conservation assembly, then students have the opportunity to take action through a beach cleanup, and can educate others by creating a message that can be seen from the sky.

microplastics_TheGuardianThis couldn’t be happening at a better time. Right now, our oceans are in trouble. Data show our oceans are inundated with trash, specifically plastic pollution. Each of our five major gyres has garbage patches; our local North Pacific Gyre has three. Microplastics, which create a plastic soup in our oceans, are found to absorb chemicals in the ocean, creating a cesspool of toxic waste animals cannot escape. Millions of animals die annually of starvation, with bellies full of plastic. Now is when we need a change. Now is when we need help. We need help to keep our oceans alive.

albatrossAfter educating students on information like the Pacific Garbage Patch and Midway Atoll, I find that most students immediately want to make a change and take action. Kids’ Ocean Day provides this opportunity. This year, we are taking it a step further. This year, we are expanding our program to include not one, but two nations. The ocean is one thing that connects the global world, so we feel like we should act globally through a bi-national Kids’ Ocean Day. Students from both sides of the border will be participating in a beach cleanup and then will create an aerial art image that spans two countries. This year’s image celebrates the ocean while asking for help. It is a message from the ocean, which will read “Unite por el mar” / “Unite for the sea!”


At this time, we are still in the process of recruiting volunteers. If you are interested in helping and celebrating the ocean, please contact Lexi at lambrogi@cleansd.org. Unite por el mar!

Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund

Protecting the CA coast is now as easy as checking a box!

What if I told you that by simply checking a box, you could provide a meaningful donation to protecting the California Coast? That’s right, this year as you file your state income tax returns, you can show your love for California’s coast at the same time.  Just enter a donation of any amount next to the Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund – listed in the “Voluntary Contributions” section on the last page of your California tax return. Your contribution will go back into our communities, providing grants to clean up shorelines, restore habitat, bring kids to the coast (some for the first time), and promote beach access.

Just check the box!!
Just check the box!!

The donation goes to to the California Coastal Commission’s Whale Tail Grant Program, which provides a ton of funding for some local San Diego programs, including a couple of I Love A Clean San Diego programs.  Since its creation, the Whale Tail Grant Program has brought almost a million dollars, $902,231 to be exact, to San Diego County coastal and marine education programs!

Protect our coast and oceans for all of us, including our furry friends who love to enjoy some time at the beach.
Protect our coast and oceans for all of us, including our furry friends who love to enjoy some time at the beach.

Some of the programs that benefit from this funding are I Love A Clean San Diego’s “Adopt-A-Beach” Program, UC San Diego’s Birch Aquarium “School to Shoreline” Program, and the American Lung Association’s 1-800-NO SMOKE Campaign.  All of the programs that receive funding from the Whale Tail Grant program are dedicated in some way to either keeping our beaches and coastal areas clean and accessible, educating people about pollution prevention, or getting kids that maybe have never been to the beach educated about the environment and into the water.

For more information about the Whale Tail Grant Program or how to donate, check out www.checkthecoast.org. You can double your impact by getting a Whale Tail license plate next time you are renewing your car registration. Those funds also go right back into the community to support marine conservation.

Funds from the Whale Tail license plate program support ILACSD's Adopt-A-Beach program!
Funds from the Whale Tail license plate program support ILACSD’s Adopt-A-Beach program!