The City owns about one-third of the property along the San Diego River and has removed nearly 99 tons of waste from 32 locations since September.
The City has sent letters to each of the 33 private property owners who combined own approximately one-third of the property along the river, offering one-time cleanup assistance. Land along the remaining one-third of the river is owned by government agencies and a nonprofit, including MTS, CalTrans, San Diego River Park Foundation, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, U.S. Postal Service and the County of San Diego.
“Since this effort began, we have seen a dramatic difference along the river in the city,” said Rob Hutsel, president and CEO of the San Diego River Park Foundation. “There is less trash, fewer encampments and a new hope that a lasting improvement is being achieved. I am very excited about the future for our river.”
So far, eight private property owners have taken advantage of the offer to have the City clean their property. Those who do not, are required to clean it themselves or they will be cited, which could result in fines ranging from $100 to $1,000.
Launched in May 2017, the “Clean SD” initiative includes City and Urban Corps crews that respond to complaints received through the City’s Get It Done application, and remove litter in “hotspots” in Ocean Beach, City Heights, San Ysidro, Logan Heights, Paradise Hills, Webster and Mount Hope, Mission Beach, Point Loma and Pacific Beach – neighborhoods with a historically high level of illegal dumping activity. Crews have already removed more than 1,000 tons of debris, including:
· 470 tires;
· 3150 mattresses and box springs;
· 1200 shopping carts;
· 170 appliances.
Other “Clean SD” efforts include:
· Increased street sweeping in the East Village neighborhood;
· Sanitizing sidewalks in downtown and other neighborhoods;
· Prioritizing graffiti removal requests;
· Organizing community cleanups that collected more than 100 tons of waste and debris from San Diego neighborhoods in 2017;
· Holding the City’s annual cleanup event at SDCCU Stadium – with more than 100 tons of waste and recyclables collected in single day.
Walking on a trail along the east bank of the river near San Diego Mission Road in the Grantville neighborhood, Faulconer explained the cleanup efforts along the San Diego River will continue for the foreseeable future and will now include stepped up outreach and coordination to get the remaining two-thirds cleared up by owners of those properties, including several businesses and other government agencies.
“The San Diego River is one of our most precious natural resources and we must continue to give it the care and attention it deserves,” Faulconer said. “While we’ve cleared all of the City’s property once, we still have a lot more work to do so we’re encouraging every property owner next to the river to join our cleanup efforts and help preserve the San Diego River for future generations.”