Find more projects

Water Quality Monitoring

Main Project Information
Goal Reduce pollution in San Diego waterbodies.
Task Attend training session in San Diego, then start testing water!
Where 2825 Dewey Rd Suite #200 None California 92106 United States 2825 Dewey Rd Suite #200, 92106 California 92106 United States

Dinoflagellates emitting bioluminescence make us happy.

It means San Diego’s water does not have harmful levels of toxic chemicals that can harm plants, fish and bugs. And it’s one of the tests we conduct during our monthly water quality monitoring events.

Coastkeeper has monitored San Diego’s waterbodies since 2000. We use the data collected by our volunteers to identify polluted waters and reduce sources of pollution. San Diego’s local government agencies have limited resources and they monitor infrequently, providing only a snapshot of water quality. Data collected by Coastkeeper volunteers increases the amount available so regulators can assess more comprehensive water resources data to make more effective decisions on how to reduce sources of pollution.

Coastkeeper staff and its crew of trained volunteers (we train more than 100 volunteers each year) currently collect and analyze water samples that are analyzed for basic chemistry, nutrients, bacteria, and toxicity from nine out of 11 watersheds in San Diego County on a monthly basis. To ensure that our data meets the highest quality standards possible, Coastkeeper follows a rigorous quality assurance and control plan and standard operating procedures that have been approved by our state regulatory agencies.

To our knowledge, we are the largest volunteer-based water quality monitoring program in the state. Through this program, we create community involvement and stewardship by educating the public on the importance of good water quality in our coastal and inland waters. It adds the scientific data component to Coastkeeper's work. We are tremendously grateful to the volunteers and partners who share our passion for keeping our waters clean and healthy.

How to Join

All new participants must attend a training session with San Diego Coastkeeper. Please contact to RSVP for our next training date.

A full schedule of trainings and sampling dates can be found here:

Social Media
Required Gear

All sampling equipment will be provided by San Diego Coastkeeper.

It is recommended to wear study shoes and clothing suitable for hiking and working in and with water. Please bring sunscreen and water as sampling will be done outdoors.

Ideal Age Group Adults
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity In snow or rain, In oceans, streams, rivers, lakes, On a hike
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags Field Work, Lab, Urban Runoff, Water Chemistry, Water Pollution, Water Quality
Project Updated 05/23/2018