Profiling ILACSD’s longest-serving site captains!

Mindy & Jane - Dog Beach Dog Wash
Mindy & Jane, Dog Beach Dog Wash owners, with Juno, Chipper & Zydeco.

Today’s blog is a special one. Two of our longest standing supporters, Jane Donley and Mindy Pellissier, graciously put together these thoughtful answers about their experience as site captains and what they do year-round to help protect OB’s Dog Beach. Read on to learn more about their passion for a clean San Diego and why they want you to join them for Creek to Bay, happening April 25th!

Prior to opening the Dog Wash, Mindy & I got our first dog in Feb. 1989 and began visiting Dog Beach daily.  The Ocean Beach Town Council had adopted Dog Beach in 1972 (when it officially became an off-leash area) for cleanups 3-4 times a year.  As members of the Town Council, we became involved in the cleanups and in 1993 (when opening Dog Beach Dog Wash) took over as captains and organizers of the cleanups.

In 1996, we organized Friends of Dog Beach to cleanup and care for Dog Beach, conducting bi-weekly cleanups with several hundred volunteers.  Currently we conduct monthly cleanups (every second Saturday from 9 to 11 am) in addition to Creek to Bay, Morning After Mess on July 5th, and Coastal Cleanup Day.  We installed 12 stainless steel containers for dog bags with help from County Supervisor Greg Cox and the OB Community Development Corporation in 2002, and currently provide more than 10,000 free poop bags a week to keep Dog Beach clean.

DBDW - 2009
Throw back to 2009 at one of OB Dog Beach’s monthly cleanups!



What brings us back?

We value Dog Beach (40+ acres of sand where the San Diego River meets the Pacific Ocean) for the joy it brings to the 10,000 dogs who visit each week, the social benefits to dogs and human guardians, and the love and respect we have for the natural habitat and fresh air.  We are committed to improving the water quality of the river and ocean, and maintaining the beach as a desired destination for nature- and dog-lovers, and will always support organizations and individuals who share these values.

SD River meets the Pacific Ocean
OB’s Dog Beach – 40+ acres of sand where the San Diego River meets the Pacific Ocean.

Why should others consider becoming site captains?

The best part of being a site captain is the vested interest in protecting and enhancing the beauty and health of a “great place” be it a canyon, creek, back alley or beach.  Over years one can see improvements, and socializing with neighbors for a good cause improves everyone’s quality of life.  Inspiring others, especially younger generations, to respect and enhance the environment is another major goal.

Volunteers, including Councilmember Lori Zapf and ILACSD Director Bill Haines, at last year’s Coastal Cleanup Day at Dog Beach.


Aside from cleanups, how else does Dog Beach Dog Wash protect the environment?

In our private lives, and at Dog Beach Dog Wash, we continually seek ways to protect and enhance the environment.  We’ve planted trees, and conserve water with low-flow devices, synthetic lawn and low-water plants.  We use recycled and recyclable paper products, green cleaning products, “Energy Star” appliances, and sell healthy organic dog treats and dog/cat collars and leashes made from soy and recycled plastic bottles. Because of potential zoonotic diseases, we cannot use recycled water; we looked into that.

We also donate our used towels and dog accessories to local animal shelters to be re-used for dogs & cats awaiting forever homes.  We support organizations that share our values for sustaining and improving the environment, including I Love A Clean San Diego, Think Blue, Surfrider, Coastkeeper, and the San Diego River Park Foundation.

DBDW and OB sacred heart - 4.12
Student volunteers from OB Sacred Heart Academy – Earth Day Cleanup 2012


Mark your calendars – registration opens Wednesday, April 1st! You’ll have the opportunity to choose from 100+ cleanup sites across San Diego County, including Jane & Mindy’s site in OB! For more information & to register, please visit In a matter of only a couple hours, you’ll be able to show pride for your community working along side neighbors to ensure a safe and clean environment for current and future San Diegans! 

And the Award Goes to…

As I Love A Clean San Diego celebrates its 60th year, we are prompted top look back on our history and the people that carried us to success. The strength of our organization today is due to the efforts of many individuals, corporations and government entities who believed in a Clean San Diego!

Below are the 60th Anniversary Clean San Diego honorees, award winners and finalists, who were honored at our 60th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday May 29th.


Former staff and board members that continued their involvement. These alumni represent ILACSD in the community and help to spread the word about the importance of ILACSD’s work.

Cynthia Mallett: Cynthia started at ILACSD fresh out of college, first as an intern then as staff member on the education team, and now at the City of Oceanside’s Clean Water Program. She has stayed connected as a donor, program partner, and volunteer ever since, leading Oceanside beaches and creeks as a site captain for Creek to Bay and Coastal Cleanup Day for over 20 years. Cynthia also championed the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program for the City of Oceanside in collaboration with ILACSD.

Finalists: Joyce Coffee, Lana Findlay


Long-standing volunteers that have served in a leadership position for over a decade, acting as a community catalyst who has taken ownership of an outdoor area in San Diego County and invested time and energy to protect and enhance it with ILACSD.

Linda Pennington: Linda has been volunteering with ILACSD for several decades, inspiring community volunteerism and pride in her City Heights neighborhood. Linda recruits site captains and volunteers by inspiring others to take ownership of their local canyons. She has helped to enlist dozens of Creek to Bay and Coastal Cleanup Day site captains for this underserved area.

Finalists: Jane Donley, Barbara Cleves


These honorees lead by example through environmental innovation that promotes ILACSD’s mission and benefits the region.

San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox: Supervisor Cox has been a dedicated supporter of ILACSD for more than 15 years. He was recently appointed as a commissioner on the California Coastal Commission, whose Public Education programs include ILACSD’s annual Coastal Cleanup Day, Kids’ Ocean Day and the year-round Adopt-A-Beach program.

County of San Diego: The County Board of Supervisors was instrumental in the formation of the War Against Litter Committee in 1954, which later evolved into I Love A Clean San Diego. Currently, the County of San Diego funds ILACSD programs, including and the organizations recycling call center, 1-877-R-1-EARTH.

City of San Diego: The City of San Diego was also instrumental in the formation of the War Against Litter Committee in 1954, which evolved into ILACSD.  The City and ILACSD have collaborated for decades and currently partner on High School environmental education, community outreach, cleanups, and pollution prevention campaigns.

City of Chula Vista: The City of Chula Vista has worked with ILACSD on multiple programs since 1999, including cleanups, education, used motor oil recycling, and after school programs. Chula Vista and ILACSD have collaborated on progressive environmental programming & lead regional initiatives encouraging collaboration with other San Diego cities.


Local companies with strong employee volunteer engagement. Winners and finalists were chosen in 3 groups based on employee presence in San Diego. 

D-Max Engineering: D-Max Engineering has collaborated with ILACSD for a decade, through its Storm Drain Stenciling program, and countywide cleanup events Creek to Bay and Coastal Cleanup Day. D-Max Engineering employees participate in countywide events annually, and also lead as site captains at underserved locations.

Finalists: RECON Environmental, McKenna Long & Aldridge

Harrah’s Resort Southern California: Employees from Harrah’s Resort have participated in our Adopt-A-Beach program at Bucanneer Beach in Oceanside for more than 5 years. Additionally, they have served as site captains of both their Bucanneer Beach location and a handful of inland sites, including Dixon Lake and Lake Wohlford for Creek to Bay and Coastal Cleanup Day.

Finalists: Cubic, Recreational Equipment Inc (REI)

General Dynamics, NASSCO: NASSCO employees have volunteered with ILACSD since the 1970’s, serving as one of the organization’s longest standing partners. Volunteers from NASSCO host clean ups along Chollas Creek annually, emphasizing the importance of cleaning up locally by literally cleaning up their own backyard, as Chollas Creek empties into the San Diego Bay near their shipyard.

Finalists: San Diego Gas & Electric, Qualcomm


Corporate partnership with long-term collaborations through volunteerism and program support.

San Diego Gas & Electric: SDG&E has supported ILACSD’s education and cleanups programs for decades. Employees also lead beautification projects during Coastal Cleanup Day, and represent the largest volunteer group countywide.

Finalists: Republic Services, SeaWorld San Diego


Fellow nonprofit organizations with longstanding partnerships with ILACSD and a history of strong collaboration.

Girl Scouts San Diego: The Girl Scouts have partnered with ILACSD since the 1960’s, providing scouts to spread awareness of pollution prevention issues.  Thousands of scouts participate in ILACSD cleanup programs annually including Creek to Bay, Coastal Cleanup Day, and Adopt A Beach, earning patches for their service. ILACSD was proud to be a signature partner as the Girl Scouts celebrated their 100th anniversary recently.


Young environmental steward who is involved with ILACSD through various community leadership activities.

Aubrey Arevalo: Aubrey is a member of the Think Blue Brigade, and has worked to establish an environmental club at her University City High School campus. Through the Brigade, Aubrey has participated in numerous environmental events including Storm Drain Stenciling Day and Creek to Bay, recruiting classmates to participate. She has also created and led two storm drain stenciling days on her campus, and served as a Creek to Bay site captain at Crown Point Shores.