Going to Bat for SD by Stepping Up to the Plate as a Site Captain

San Diego Gas & Electric has been delivering San Diegans their power for almost 150 years. On top of their work providing around 45% clean energy to homes and businesses in this region – compared to an average of 8% nationwide – SDG&E supports many local nonprofits organizations that are working to improve the environment. This year, SDG&E and the San Diego Padres are Going to Bat for San Diego, and teaming up to support I Love A Clean San Diego and celebrate Coastal Cleanup Day.


ILACSD is proud to be part of the 2018 Going to Bat for San Diego Starting Lineup!

As a special thank you to volunteers that Go to Bat for San Diego, SDG&E and the Padres are recognizing Coastal Cleanup Day participants with a Volunteer Appreciation Night at the Padres game on Monday, September 17. Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers receive a promo code to purchase discounted tickets and be recognized for their accomplishments in keeping San Diego clean.


The 34th annual Coastal Cleanup Day will bring thousands of volunteers together on September 15th to beautify more than 100 beaches, parks, and other outdoor spaces throughout the region. Over the past 17 years, SDG&E has helped support I Love A Clean San Diego’s Coastal Cleanup Day efforts with the participation of thousands of employee volunteers! We are pleased to highlight two SDG&E heavy hitters who have stepped up to the plate to serve as site captains for Coastal Cleanup Day throughout the years.

Crystal Yousef

Crystal and her sidekick, Tipsie, at Coastal Cleanup Day 2013.

Crystal has been an SDG&E employee for 15 years and a Coastal Cleanup Day site captain for close to 10 years. She can always be counted on to go wherever there is a need, and Coastal Cleanup Day has led her on expeditions to Encanto, Poway, Golden Hill, and Rancho Bernardo, among other places.

In her day job, Crystal works at SDG&E’s Environmental Lab, which does environmental sampling and test analyses.  The Lab is certified to test for more than 500 chemical compounds, ensuring that SDG&E facilities are operating safely.

In Crystal’s decade of service at Coastal Cleanup Day, she says her favorite part of the annual volunteer event is seeing kids’ enthusiasm when they find a strange piece of trash. Whether it’s a shoe, a stuffed animal, or even a bathroom scale, kids often burst with excitement recounting where and how they found it, and in some instances, even make up stories for what they think the item is. It’s like trash show-and-tell.

Crystal also notes that she feels a sense of pride each year when she arrives at Coastal Cleanup Day to a sea of Team SDG&E volunteers outfitted in team t-shirts, which for many years were the two-toned tie-dye in the photo to the left. SDG&E and I Love A Clean San Diego are lucky to have folks like Crystal committed to ensuring a safe and successful cleanup for volunteers of all ages! This year, you can find Crystal helping out at the South Shores cleanup site in Mission Bay with Team SDG&E.

Hilary Haskell

Hilary participating in the 2016 City Heights Facelift with Team SDG&E.

Hilary has been an environmental enthusiast from a young age. In fact, in high school she conducted regular beach cleanups, and in college she interned with another environmental nonprofit, Orange County Coastkeeper. Fun fact: during Hilary’s internship, she helped to plan Kids’ Ocean Day in Orange County, aerial art and all! That’s the sister event to ILACSD’s San Diego Kids’ Ocean Day that occurs every spring.

Hilary joined SDG&E a little over two years ago and jumped right in with Coastal Cleanup Day. Last year, she led the San Dieguito Lagoon site for SDG&E, and this year you’ll find her at the Paradise Creek site in National City. Aside from having a good attitude and strong leadership qualities, Hilary brings another attribute to her role as site captain…she knows a lot about the environment! At SDG&E, she makes sure projects like the placing of a new power pole, or even the removal of one, don’t result in a detrimental environmental impact. She’s also one of the company’s leading sustainability advisors, helping to track SDG&E’s environmental performance in key areas.

While Hilary hasn’t been a part of Team SDG&E for very long, we anticipate that her involvement in Coastal Cleanup Day will continue for many years to come!

ILACSD is grateful for SDG&E’s longtime partnership and the hands-on role team members take on to make sure we knock Coastal Cleanup Day out of the park!

Preliminary Counts from a Remarkable Coastal Cleanup Day as Results Continue to Roll In

While results continue to trickle in from this year’s Coastal Cleanup Day, one result we can’t overlook is the incredible time that was had by all of our participants! From volunteers picking up litter at the beaches to groups removing graffiti and refurbishing playground equipment, the volunteers expressed the immense joy they took away from the experience! As a direct result of all of that hard work, San Diegans are now able to enjoy more than 100 clean outdoor spaces free of litter!

ILACSD’s Pauline with our sponsors and speakers officially kicking off Coastal Cleanup Day by planting a tree.

For the past 30 years, I Love A Clean San Diego has coordinated Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego County as part of a statewide and international cleanup effort to restore coastlines across the globe. The effort is coordinated statewide by the California Coastal Commission and internationally by The Ocean Conservancy. While international totals for 2017 are not available yet, in 2016, in 92 countries around the world 504,583 volunteers picked up more than 18 million pounds of trash!

A before and after look at the D Street Fill cleanup site in National City!

ILACSD team members woke up extra early on Saturday morning to lead more than 250 volunteers in beautification projects at Golden Hill Park. Even with volunteers spread out among various beautification projects including mulching, tree planting, mural paints, and storm drain stenciling, they still managed to clear out over 2,500 pounds of debris! 

As for the entire county, preliminary totals for Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego indicate that we had over 7,500 volunteers cleaning up 105 local creeks, canyons, beaches, and bays as part of this event!  While the trash totals are still being compiled, we are expecting that more than 150,000 pounds of trash were removed from San Diego County. On top of the trash removal, volunteers also beautified and enhanced the local environment through painting murals, removing invasive plants, planting trees, mulching, and performing a variety of park maintenance projects.

Volunteers painted a mural at the Golden Hill Recreation Center!
Volunteers preparing an area to be mulched.

Every year at Coastal Cleanup Day and Creek to Bay, our two annual countywide cleanups, we see that cigarette butts and small plastic items are our most commonly found items. While unfortunately, this information is not that surprising, we are often stunned by some of the unique pieces of litter that our volunteers find. Some of the favorites this year include a dish rack, costume vampire teeth, RV door, an elephant shrine, and a Charger’s jersey.

Volunteers at Spanish Landing found dentures during their cleanup.

Many thanks go out to all that donated their time and effort to volunteer with us on Coastal Cleanup Day. We feel lucky to put on such a beloved event with dedicated and wonderful participants every year! This year, we had individuals, groups, and corporate volunteer teams out all over the county representing various organizations including SDG&E, Wells Fargo, Lincoln Military Housing, Bank of America, San Diego County Water Authority, San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union, Illumina, Evans Hotels, and a large number of scout troops!

Bank of America volunteers winding down after cleaning up the Golden Hill site!


Volunteers from SDG&E excited to clean up at the Scripps Ranch site.

See more pictures from Coastal Cleanup Day and our other cleanups on Facebook and Instagram!

Looking to join us at our next event? We have a quite a few volunteer opportunities coming up. Visit our upcoming events page for more information on how to get involved!