Storm Drain Stenciling Day

The time has come – Join I Love A Clean San Diego and Think Blue San Diego for our twice-annual Storm Drain Stenciling Day at Moutain View Park! We will walk around the neighborhood with cleanup supplies picking up litter and stencil storm drains with a conservation message.

You may be wondering, “What is storm drain stenciling?” Our cities have storm drains those big gaps in the curb you see around our homes and businesses. These gaps are meant to move water out of the neighborhood very quickly so when it rains our streets do not get flooded. This is an important safety feature that keeps us from walking in foot-deep water during the winter.

Because our storm drains are designed to move water quickly through our region out to the coast, they do not have filters that would impede water, which means unintended things like litter can flow with water into the drains and into the ocean!

Therefore, it is important to not only preserve our storm drains, but also remove litter from around them.

By picking up litter with us on Saturday and stenciling drains, you can help protect the neighborhood and all the places downstream, including the Pacific Ocean! You can also earn community service credit for your time.

What do you need for this event? Just a ready-to-help attitude!

  • We provide cleanup supplies and the stenciling kits with maps to help you find drains.
  • Our goal is to have 5 drains stenciled per group.
  • We encourage you to wear clothes you do not mind getting paint on, and closed-toed shoes.
  • KITS ARE FIRST COME FIRST SERVE!!! Arrive on time to secure a kit for your group.

This event requires 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, and bring with you to this cleanup. No printer? No problem! We will have waivers at the check-in table for volunteers. If you are under 18 please have your guardian check-in with us at the cleanup to sign-off on your participation.

One more thing: if you want to bring your kits home with you to stencil around your neighborhood, please do! Be sure to check in with staff at the table to receive your instructions for totals sheets and reporting the number of drains you complete before you leave with your kits. Thank you for spreading this conservation message!

Saturday, March 25, 2023 9am-11am

Mountain View Park, San Diego, CA 92119

We’re Storming the Drains! Storm Drain Stenciling Day, Nov 16

November 16 is Storm Drain Stenciling Day! You can help to prevent storm drain pollution in the City of San Diego through storm drain stenciling, a great program we offer sponsored by Think Blue. By marking the drains with a pollution prevention message, you are educating the public that no oil, soap, or debris should go down the drains.  We’ll have a big event on November 16th at Polaris Breen Park in Mira Mesa, but check out our website for how you can sign up any day. You may be wondering why we’re running around with stencils and buckets of paint, and what a storm drain even is. Read on for some quick facts and how you can get involved (you can also check out this brief video about the program)! Think-Blue-Stencil-9-2009reduced So why is storm drain stenciling important? Urban storm-water runoff is considered the biggest contributor to coastal marine pollution.   Both human forces (irrigation runoff and illegal dumping) and natural forces (wind and rain) move trash and other pollutants into our natural waterways, storm drains, and flood control channels.  By stenciling the drains with the pollution prevention message, we remind people that oil, soap, gum, food wrappers, cigarette butts, and chip bags don’t belong in the storm drains.

Here’s how a storm drain works

Umm, what IS a storm drain? The storm drain system is designed to prevent flooding by carrying rainwater from city streets to the ocean.  Yet, chemicals, trash, and oil that have been spilled between rains can also enter the storm drain system.  From here they enter pipelines that are not connected to the sewer system, and the water from the storm drains eventually flows, untreated, into the ocean, causing large amounts of pollution.

A storm drain (that needs stenciling!)

Why should I participate? It takes the help of our volunteers to get these storm drains stenciled; without you, this project cannot succeed!  The few minutes it takes to stencil a storm drain provides years of reminders to our neighbors that they must be careful about what goes into the drains.  I Love A Clean San Diego encourages you to think green and Think Blue!This sounds great!! How do I sign up? You can check out our website for all the details.  For more information about this program, or to schedule your own stenciling project, please email