Recent News

As California continues to experience a long-term drought, we want to make sure you have all the facts and get to know some great alternatives before you turn on that garden hose!


The Facts

  • Each car wash at home can use up to 150 gallons.
  • If every person washed their car at home 2 times a year, that could amount to 210,000,000 gallons of water consumed annually, just for washing cars!
  • Home car washing results in soap and pollutants in local waterways.



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Spring is a time for sunshine, flowers, new growth and exploring the outdoors. Get outside and join a community cleanup event and help preserve our local waterways and environment. On or around Earth Day on April 22nd, neighborhood litter pickup events, habitat restorations, graffiti abatement and other general sprucing up activities take place. Help capture trash before it goes into the storm drain!

Once in the storm drain, litter easily flows directly to our creeks, Bay, beaches and ocean. Find a spring cleanup event near you at...

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On Coastal Cleanup Day 2014, volunteers picked up an astonishing 13,036 cigarette butts in San Mateo County! Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter picked up on this day both in San Mateo County and internationally. Littered cigarette butts are easily washed, blown, or flicked down storm drains that lead straight into local creeks, the Bay and the Ocean. These unsightly cigarette butts never disappear because they are made of plastic and do
not biodegrade. According to a recent study published in the journal...

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Matt Fabry, Manager of the San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program, knows how to make a garden grow—plant a seed. 


In 2009 he did just that. Facing rising concern over polluted stormwater running into local waterways, the Countywide Program joined forces with Portland, Oregon-based landscape architects Nevue Ngan Associates to publish the San Mateo County Sustainable Green Streets and Parking Lots Design Guidebook


The guide...

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Bacteria from unattended dog waste contaminates local beaches


Sometimes being at the top is the last place you want to be. San Mateo County learned that lesson recently when a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that our local beaches have the second highest level of bacteria in California. One of the suspects? Your pooch. Or more specifically, your pooch’s poop.


Unsightly and Unsafe


We all know how unpleasant it is to mistakenly...

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The Ocean covers 97 percent of the Earth. That’s 321,003,271 cubic miles according to NOAA. Thus, in celebrating Earth Day, it makes sense to acknowledge not only land, but the sea as well.


Here are three ways to show your love for our oceans, as we strive to keep them pollution-free. 


Use less plastic


Plastic is the biggest polluter of the world’s...

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In the early 1900s, Joyce Kilmer wrote in a now famous poem about trees, “Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.” California faces a bit of a tree crisis now as more than 100 million trees in its forests have died in recent years. What’s the cause of this massive tree mortality? Scientists from the U.S. Forest Service say it’s likely from back-to-back years of severe drought. Now with all the rain after this long period of drought, some trees are at risk to toppling...

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Spring is on the way. As you reach for that dusty bin of cleaning supplies to spruce up your home, consider these affordable, eco-friendly and effective DIY cleaning alternatives.  Instead of reaching for a potentially toxic product, there are many ways to be eco-friendly, clean effectively and possibly save some money in the process.


All around the house


Countertops: Using equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle helps clean countertops and kills bacteria. Do not use...

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Even with recent record rainfalls, Californians suffering through the drought have come to understand that water is a precious resource. There are many small ways to make your home more water friendly here in the San Mateo area. You can also save money by cutting back your monthly water bill. 


1. Rain barrels


When the rain comes, collect it. Just one inch of rain on an average roof can equate to 625 gallons of water that will take its course through a vast...

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Pillar Point Marsh in Fitzgerald Marine Reserve


What we do on land affects the water that sustains all life within San Mateo County. We all live in a watershed, or an area of land that stormwater flows through or across on its way to a larger body of water. These watersheds carry everything that enters the storm drains--including rain, litter, used oil, and even dog poop--directly into our local creeks, the San Francisco Bay, or the Pacific Ocean without being filtered or...

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