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Adopt-A-Beach

Adopt-A-Canyon

I Love A Clean San Diego’s Adopt-A-Beach® and -Canyon program allows volunteers of all ages and group sizes to adopt a coastal or inland site by conducting three cleanups over the course of one year.

Volunteers collect and report detailed litter data from their cleanups to be recognized in our sign program at participating locations!

Please consider a donation to support materials, waste management, staff, and to keep this unique program running for years to come!

Adopt-A-Beach Adopt-A-Canyon

Adopt-A-Beach

Adopt-A-Canyon

I Love A Clean San Diego’s Adopt-A-Beach® and -Canyon program allows volunteers of all all ages and group sizes — service groups, clubs, businesses, schools, and individuals — to adopt a coastal or inland site by conducting three cleanups over the course of one year.

Volunteers who collect and report detailed litter data from their cleanups can also be recognized through our sign program, at participating locations.

Please consider a donation to keep this unique program running for years to come!

Why Adopt

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 to the left - and over 100,000 marine mammals every year.

It is up to us all to keep our beaches and shared spaces clean and safe. Beyond the cleanups conducted by the city, our communities are in need of dedicated environmental stewards to consistently help out.

As an Adopt-A-Beach 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. Data from this program helped pass the California Bag Ban, and we hope to continue to create lasting change with your help!

30,279

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

How It Works

1: Find Your Site

There are 105 adoptable locations throughout San Diego County!
Use this map to filter for available amenities at each cleanup location, like parking, bathrooms, beach wheelchair and Sign Program availability.

2: Schedule Your Cleanup

Schedule your cleanup on our Community Hub!

NOTE: your cleanup MUST be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance to be reviewed and approved by ILACSD.

Once you've been approved, you will receive an email confirmation!

If your date or location is unavailable, staff will contact you to reschedule.

3: Gather Cleanup Supplies

We provide basic supplies like trash and recycling bags, gloves, and data tracking cards. We also offer a Zero Waste cleanup option* that includes renting buckets and reusable supplies.

All supplies are available for pick up at our office in Kearny Mesa once you schedule your cleanup (more info upon signup).
* requires refundable deposit

4: Report Your Data

As an Adopt-A-Beach volunteer, you will act as a community scientist to collect detailed litter data.

After your cleanup,  you will report your findings on our Community Hub including your detailed litter and data totals.

Reporting helps keep track of your accomplishments and inform policy changes at state levels.

Program Benefits

Signage Program

Certain locations are a part of the Sign Program, where your group can be recognized on a placard at a sign located at your cleanup site.

To qualify for signage, your group must schedule, clean up, and report your data for at least 3 cleanups within one year. The signs are updated twice a year (pending availability and waitlists for updates), and remain posted for at least one year.

Educational Presentations

We offer educational presentations to first time adopters if requested and approved ahead of time! These 20-minute presentations are given to your group before your cleanup. They discuss the watershed system, the effects of marine debris on the environment, and the importance of volunteerism. It also includes a brief safety talk. If you are interested, you will be able to request a presentation once you schedule your first cleanup.

NOTE: presentations are not guaranteed and depend on staff availability. If staff are unavailable to present at your cleanup, we have resources available for you to inform your cleanup crew! Contact staff for more details: volunteers@cleansd.org.

Beach Wheelchair Access

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. Please contact the beaches directly to make arrangements.

FAQ

Yes! 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. If you are looking to fulfill court-ordered hours, this is not an eligible program. We DO offer opportunities that qualify for court-ordered hours through our regularly scheduled and staffed cleanups and volunteer opportunities. Visit our Community Hub to see available opportunities and register.

This program is great for all ages. Be sure to choose a location suitable for you or your volunteers by reviewing the location map above.
We suggest sturdy closed-toe shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and a light jacket. Check weather conditions before heading out to best prepare for weather ahead. If you choose a canyon, we recommend long pants and long-sleeved shirts. We encourage PPE if you are with a large group or working in a tight space.

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. Waivers are not provided with your supplies. After your cleanup, please submit the signed waivers back to I Love A Clean San Diego, either when returning your loaned supplies or by mail.

No, our Adopt-A-Beach and Canyon program is ultimately an independent program, meaning it is volunteer-coordinated and led. However, if you are a first-time adopter you can request an education presentation. Presentations are not guaranteed and depend on staff availability. If staff are unavailable to present, we have resources available for you to inform your cleanup crew! For more details on presentations and resources please email: volunteers@cleansd.org


If you are interested in a program that is not self-led and more hands-off we recommend reviewing our Corporate Cleanbuilding Program! Teambuilding events start at $1,500 with additional offerings to help enhance your event such as; transportation, catering, branded team t-shirts, post event mixer, AV equipment, and more!

Once you sign up for AAB through our Community Hub, you can request supplies through our Supply Check-Out Form. ILACSD provides basic supplies including trash and recycling bags, nitrile gloves, data cards, and pencils. You can also choose our Zero Waste option and borrow buckets, reusable gloves, grabbers, scales, and coolers with a refundable deposit. All supplies are available on request, and our Zero Waste supplies can be checked out with a refundable deposit.

You can sign up for an Adopt-A-Beach/Canyon site through our Community Hub. Choose from one of our 105 adoptable locations, sign-up or login to your Community Hub Volunteer Portal and select the date and time for your cleanup. All of your resources and supply scheduling opportunities will be sent via email.

  1. Choose the location of your cleanup out of our 105 adoptable sites through our Community Hub.
  2. Once you choose your site. 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
  4. Step One: 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. Once our staff has approved the time and date of your cleanup, you will receive communication via email to schedule a supply pickup, directions for reporting litter totals, and reminders.

This program does not qualify for court ordered hours because it is a self-led cleanup option. To find out about upcoming opportunities that do qualify for court-ordered hours, email our staff at volunteers@cleansd.org.

Send us a message and we'll get right back with you.

Contact Us

Main Office

5797 Chesapeake Court
Suite 200
San Diego, CA, 92123

Phone Number

Cat Flynn

Program Coordinator

Ian Monahan

Donations & Corporate Support

Main Office

5797 Chesapeake Court
Suite 200
San Diego, CA, 92123

Phone Number

Cat Flynn - ¡Yo hablo español!

Program Coordinator

Ian Monahan

Donations & Corporate Support

FUNDED IN PART BY

Supporting Partners

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