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Bi-National Festival and Mass Volunteer Cleanup Marks 4th Annual Tijuana River Action Month

DATE 10/3/13

Contact: Dan Funk
Volunteer, Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter
Phone: (760) 219-4681

Bi-National Festival and Mass Volunteer Cleanup Marks 4th Annual Tijuana River Action Month

SAN DIEGO / TIJUANA – Now in its fourth year, Tijuana River Action Month (TRAM) is culminating on Saturday, October 12th with events spearheaded by the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, and WiLDCOAST.

The three organizations join with other grassroots-community groups and non-profits from both sides of the US-Mexico border to restore and conserve the Tijuana River watershed through a series of education and stewardship events throughout September and October.

On October 12th, two major events will conclude a month of incredible volunteer effort: a cleanup and sustainable building project from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Border Field State Park in Goat Canyon (1500 Monument Road, San Diego, CA 92173) and the Tijuana River Action Month Festival from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Monument Mesa in Border Field State Park. The festival offers food, drinks and prizes, with free admission for TRAM volunteers.

The construction project earlier in the day will be lead by 4 Walls International, and will incorporate pieces of debris cleared out of the river valley in a sustainable building design. One project this year will involve trash being stuffed into used plastic bottles to create blocks for an artistic structure at the entrance to Border Field State Park.

Volunteers participating in the cleanup and building project are advised to bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, wear long pants and sturdy closed-toe shoes. Work gloves and tools will be provided. Volunteers of all ages are welcome, but those under 18 must have a guardian-signed permission form (available onsite or by request at and volunteers under 16 must attend with parent or guardian supervision.  

The annual Tijuana River Action Month is the largest collaboration between US and Mexican non-profits to clean up and spread awareness of the pollution issues affecting the Tijuana River. Last year’s event saw 2,908 volunteers remove 62,646 lbs (31 tons!) of ocean-bound plastics, Styrofoam, and trash, as well as 687 tires on both sides of the border.

Dan Funk, a volunteer with Surfrider’s No Border Sewage (No BS) campaign says, “Buildup of trash comprised of plastic bottles, bags, tires, Styrofoam, and toys buried by large amounts of sediment, can be found throughout the Tijuana River valley from previous winter rains, and will eventually make its way to the sensitive estuary habitat and ocean when the rains start up again. Not only does the trash threaten our oceans and health, but what isn’t removed can harm threatened or endangered species that call the estuary home.”

TRAM activities take place during the small window of time between the end of bird nesting season and the beginning of the rainy season. This year’s TRAM events kicked off on September 21st with Coastal Cleanup Day, and include river cleanups, outreach and education programs, native plant installations, and sustainable building projects.

A variety of public and private agencies, businesses, non-profits and community groups participate, including REI, the San Diego Foundation, San Diego Coastkeeper, I Love a Clean San Diego, SDG&E, and the Department of Public Works.

For more information on the 4th Annual Tijuana River Action Month, visit or contact Surfrider Foundation volunteer, Dan Funk at or (760) 219-4681.

For more on the Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego County Chapter visit