Earth’s Advocate


The People Behind ECOSLO

Within the past year ECOSLO volunteers have led over 100 miles in hikes in SLO City Open Space Natural Reserves, cleaned 72 miles of coastlines, repaired 10 miles of trails throughout the County and contributed over 6,000 hours to environmental focused projects. The impact is incredible and the support overwhelming. During the month of April our goal at ECOSLO is to focus on the Earth and those who contribute their time to protecting and preserving it. We would like to thank some specific key participants in our efforts to Educate, Advocate and Act within the community of San Luis Obispo through sharing their stories, passions and work. Dave Bidwell “See the environment and see the small birds fly. Appreciate it, educate yourself about it” Dave Bidwell is a teacher in Cambria who found his passion in education. He believes in connecting people with the environment around them and providing them the opportunity to become engaged with and informed about natural resources. He shared that, “No matter where you are you can help the environment with small gestures”. California condors rely on our local ecosystem for survival and current poisoning from lead bullet use and microtrash are putting their population at harm. Dave stresses that efforts such as collecting bits of trash or reading about and understanding the world around us allows one to feel the effects and become apart of the environmental movement. Dave has been a major force of ECOSLO through being a leader of Coastal Cleanup Day. He helps to track and sort the trash and debris collected. This provides data that allows analysis of waste littered... read more

Coastal Cleanup Day Top 10 Items Identified in San Luis Obispo County

Media Advisory – For Immediate Release – October 18, 2016 Contact: Mary Ciesinski, Executive Director (805) 544-1777 (w) or (805) 476-3799 (c) The Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo (ECOSLO) announces: Coastal Cleanup Day Top 10 Items Identified in San Luis Obispo County Next Volunteer Cleanup is Make A Difference Day Just one month ago the annual Coastal Cleanup Day, hosted by ECOSLO, took place at 30 sites throughout San Luis Obispo County.   Over 6,500 pounds of debris was rescued from entering our oceans.  The individual item results have been tallied and the top 10 items collected throughout the county are: Cigarette Butts   17,259   Pieces of Plastic   5,193 Food Wrappers   5,170 Pieces of Glass  2,714 Plastic Bottle Caps   2,141 Pieces of Styrofoam   1,416 Plastic to-go Containers   1,342 Metal Bottle Caps   1,255 Beverage Cans   1,197 Tie between Straws/Stirrers & Forks/Knives/Spoons   1,111 each This year volunteers collected almost twice as many cigarette butts as last year.  Items that had relatively the same numbers as last year’s cleanup, included pieces of plastic, plastic bottle caps, metal bottle caps, and straws/stirrers.   New items to the top 10 list this year are plastic to-go containers, beverage cans, and forks/knives/spoons (which tied with straws/stirrers).  Glass and plastic beverage bottles were on last year’s list and are not on this year’s top 10 list. The annual event, hosted by ECOSLO for the past 12 years, is part of the International Coastal Cleanup Day organized by Ocean Conservancy. Make A Difference Day Are you looking for another volunteer opportunity?  ECOSLO, partnering with San Luis Obispo County Parks, will host lakeshore cleanups at both Santa Margarita... read more

32nd Annual Coastal Cleanup Day Results for San Luis Obispo County

Media Advisory – For Immediate Release – September 17, 2016   Contact: Mary Ciesinski, Executive Director (805) 544-1777 (w) or (805) 476-3799 (c) The Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo (ECOSLO) announces: Nearly 1,200 Volunteers Clean San Luis Obispo County on 32nd Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day San Luis Obispo county residents and visitors turned out in huge numbers to clean up beaches and inland waterways at the 32nd Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, California’s largest volunteer event.  Volunteers at 30 sites across the county picked up thousands of pounds of trash during this morning’s three-hour event.  Cleanups took place primarily at coastal locations, from San Simeon Cove to Oceano Dunes, but also included Oso Flaco, Lopez and Santa Margarita Lakes.  The annual event, hosted by ECOSLO for the past 12 years, is part of the International Coastal Cleanup organized by Ocean Conservancy. With 100% of the cleanup sites reporting, the San Luis Obispo County count stands at 1,194 volunteers. Those volunteers picked up 5,445.1 pounds of trash and an additional 1,067.1 pounds of recyclable materials, for a total of 6,512.2 pounds. This year we collected 1,000 more pounds of debris as compared to last year.  About 200 more volunteers joined the effort this year in comparison to last year.   The Top 5 reporting sites for pounds of trash are as follows: Oceano Dunes: 1,088  lbs. Pirates Cove: 840 lbs. Arroyo Grande Creek: 703 lbs. Morro Strand Dog Beach/Toro Creek: 661 lbs. Lopez Lake 493 lbs. Some of most unusual items found this year are as follows: Recliner at Pirates Cove, Christmas tree at Morro Strand Dog Beach/Toro... read more

Draw the Line Between SLO and fossil fuels

The UN Climate Summit has been taking place this year in Paris, starting on November 30, 2015 and ending on December 11th.  On December 12, 2015, San Luis Obispo 350, as part of a worldwide effort to send a unified message: there are some things that we as environmental activists can not and will not compromise.  These are our climate RED LINES.  We demand that it is time to keep 80% of fossil fuels in the ground and ensure a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.  In other words, it is time to “Turn Off” our dependence on dirty, dangerous energy like coal, oil and gas and “Turn On” to renewable energy, like rooftop solar, wind farms and energy conservation. Join the SLO community as we join together to draw the line between this beautiful place and fossil fuels.  We join to demand a better agreement than what we got in Paris and to demand an end to fossil fuel infrastructure like the oil train here in San Luis Obispo. Bring your signs and your commitment. Saturday, December 12, 11:00 AM Osos/Jennifer St Bridge at the SLO Train Station San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Signup to attend via... read more

Cleanups at Lopez Lake collect over 1500lbs

Saturday, October 24th, 2015 — ECOSLO gathered 28 volunteers for the Lopez Lake cleanup, including students from San Luis Obispo High School, Cuesta College and Cal Poly.  The cleanup areas included the marina, Cottonwood Cove and about half the group ventured out in the pontoon boat with San Luis Obispo County Park Ranger Ryan.   With water levels at historic lows, it’s an optimal time to reach debris that would not otherwise be accessible.  A total of 712lbs of trash was collected in addition to 48lbs of salvageable recyclables (760lbs total).  In mid-September of this year (just 5 weeks ago), 773lbs total debris was collected at Loopez Lake making for over 1500lbs collected within two months. Several boat anchors were recovered, dozens of aluminum cans, glass bottles and plastics bottles…. many from years ago as you can tell by the logos in the bottles that had been well preserved.  Also found in mass amounts were fishing line, plastic caps and metal bottle tops. The next ECOSLO cleanup is at Santa Margarita Lake in Saturday, November 14th from 9AM-11AM.  Sign up to volunteer: If you’d like to organize a trail or lake weekday cleanup for a work, school group or club please contact ECOSLO at or 805-544-1777.  This is a great way to make a difference in your community and enjoy time spent with co-workers, family and friends.  Additionally, this is an especially crucial time of year for cleanups as it’s before the anticipated rainfall which will inevitably wash trash into storm drains or it gets covered again with lake levels rising. Thanks to all the volunteers who came out to support this successful... read more