Dog poop left on the ground is not a small problem. It is estimated that the typical dog excretes between one half to three quarters of a pound of waste per day. In San Diego alone, there are an estimated 600,000 dogs -- that is roughly 136 million pounds of poop per year.
Poop left on sidewalks, streets, yards or other open areas can be washed away by over irrigation or rain water and carried into storm drains. Unfortunately, dog poop can contain bacteria, viruses and nutrients that can cause human illness and harm our environment. Bacterial contamination of our waterways from animal poop can make people sick, while nutrients cause excessive algae growth. In addition, as animal poop decays in water, it can use up the dissolved oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need to breathe to survive.
Look for Think Blue staff throughout the year at community pet events and dog parks encouraging dog owners to Scoop the Poop to help keep our local creeks, rivers, bays and beaches healthy and pollution free!
The City offers 16 off-leash dog parks for the public and their dogs to enjoy. Owners using these facilities enter at their own risk and accept full responsibility and liability for their dog's actions. Locations can be found on the City's "Approved Leash Free Locations" page.
Think Blue attends several neighborhood community events each month, such as fairs, street festivals, association meetings, and more. We are always looking for opportunities to help educate the public about pollution prevention and water quality improvement. Invite us to host a booth at your next community event or request a speaker for a lunch and learn, email [email protected].
You can help to prevent storm drain pollution in the City of San Diego through storm drain stenciling. By marking the drains with a pollution prevention message, you are educating the public and your employees not to allow liquids or other pollutants into the storm drain system. City of San Diego storm drain stenciling kits are available for check out from I Love A Clean San Diego. For more information about the program, please visit its website at www.cleansd.org. Here are some storm drain stenciling instructions.
Watersheds are land areas that funnel water to a common low point -- usually a stream, lake, river or out to the ocean. When it rains, water flows down from areas of higher elevation following the natural shape of the land. Along the way, rainwater and urban runoff can collect and deposit trash, sediment, metals, fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants into our local waterways. These pollutants degrade water quality, threatening the health of local residents and wildlife. Everyone lives within a watershed, and preventing pollution and contamination from entering our local waterways is everyones responsibility. Learn more about the City of San Diego Watersheds.
Sustainable landscapes apply water conservation design techniques to reduce outdoor water use, decrease the need for yard chemicals and minimize the amount of urban runoff that enters the storm drain system. When you switch to a native landscape, apply rainwater harvesting methods and install efficient irrigation systems, you can create a sustainable landscape that is both enjoyable and improves water quality.
Rebate programs are available for both residential and commercial properties.
Mission Bay is the largest man-made aquatic park in the country. With over 4,200 acres, half of which is water, Mission Bay is one of San Diego's most popular locations to walk, jog, fly a kite, picnic, sail, jet ski or paddle. With 15 million visitors each year, we need everyones help to keep Mission Bay clean.
Look for Think Blue staff during the busy summer holiday weekends encouraging bay users to help keep our beaches and bays beautiful, healthy and pollution free!
In collaboration with the City's Lifeguard Services, Think Blue is proud to coordinate Environmental Awareness Day during each session of the Junior Lifeguard summer camp program. Environmental Awareness Day builds on the Junior Lifeguard goal of Skills for Life by teaching our children the importance of water quality protection in San Diego.
During the event, each Junior Lifeguard will have the opportunity to visit several distinct learning stations, focused on such topics as watershed and marine life protection, water conservation, water quality monitoring, recycling and litter prevention. Additional partners include the City's Public Utilities and Environmental Services departments, San Diego Coastkeeper and I Love A Clean San Diego.
The City shares storm water pollution prevention and other water quality improvement responsibilities with other agencies in the region. Each of these agencies is a co-permittee along with the City and also required to conduct storm water pollution prevention efforts within local waterways. The county of San Diego hosts a regional hotline where residents from across the county can report illegal discharges into the storm drain system.