Protecting Our Natural Resources


air quality inspections


beach water samples

collected or evaluated


acres of open space acquired

The San Diego region offers one of the most biodiverse landscapes in the United States. Protecting our natural resources, and the residents and visitors who enjoy them, is a top priority.


A Climate Action Plan approved last year lays out how the County will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the unincorporated areas of the region. The plan is designed to meet state reduction targets in 2020 and 2030. It encourages installing solar photovoltaic panels on existing homes and on County facilities; increasing renewable energy overall; diverting more trash away from landfills; and installing electric vehicle charging stations throughout the region.


The County is already on track to meet the state’s 2020 goals. Within County operations, greenhouse gas emissions at facilities and in the vehicle fleet fell another 4 percent last year, continuing an eight-year trend of reductions. The County now has 40 electric vehicle charging spaces for employee and public use, and another 32 are expected before fall. The number of charging sessions increased 30 percent over the prior year.


Eight percent of total County electricity use was converted to 100 percent renewable energy. The County also implemented a Zero-Net Energy Portfolio Plan to cut operations’ non-renewable energy use by 50 percent by 2030.


County programs are in place to remove high-polluting vehicles and engines in the region to reduce air pollutant emissions by at least 230 tons per year, the equivalent of 83,000 cars, by July 2019. The County also monitors the region’s air quality. This past year, 331 healthy air days were recorded – 13 more than the year before.


As part of a $2 million tree-planting program, the County planted more than 4,000 trees on public lands to replace those lost to drought and invasive pests.


Both invasive pests and diseases have the potential to devastate the local landscape and the region’s $1.7 billion agriculture industry. Import inspections are the first line of defense. During more than 4,800 inspections of shipments of imported plants and other plant products last year, inspectors found 184 pests that could have caused local crop damage. Detector dog teams found 40 unwanted pests in more than 500 packages at parcel facilities and the U.S. Postal Service.


The County also tests water quality at the region’s beaches. Four sampling locations were added last year in the South County to monitor beach water conditions near the U.S. – Mexico border. Typically, 95 samples per week are collected from beaches and bays during peak beach season from April through October. During winter months, sampling takes place weekly at 65 sites. Posted signs alert the public when ocean water has bacteria levels above health standards. Residents can also “Check in Before You Get In” at



renewable energy permits processed


insect trap


Pests and drought have taken a toll on trees in San Diego County Parks. Rangers and volunteers are working together to give them new life.

…she never has been involved with our Pest Detection Program before but after speaking to you, Mirna, she welcomes our insect traps and we could use any part of her property for our survey.”

- Customer

Agriculture, Weights and Measures

...did an outstanding job in pointing out how mosquitoes breed and spread.  He introduced us to the new species that has infested our neighborhood recently.  He described methods to combat larvae in standing water."

- Customer

Department of Environmental Health

She found where mosquitoes were breeding in Manzanita Canyon and treated the area. As the weather warms up I highly recommend calling her if you notice mosquitoes around the neighborhood! "

- Customer

Department of Environmental Health

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