Green Room: The Ocean Begins On Your Street

The City of Goleta Environmental Services Division would like to share some tips to help protect our watersheds. This month we are discussing the importance of storm drain markers and trash capture technologies and how they help to protect our local waterbodies.  

What are Storm Drain Markers? 

The ocean is closer than you think! Storm drain markers indicate the location of stormwater drainage systems and catch basins that lead to waterbodies and waterways, including rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, ponds, and bays that eventually drain to the ocean. Storm drain markers are intended to educate the public to not leave trash, chemicals and other harsh pollutants in or near storm drains that could otherwise pose a threat to wildlife and water quality. Remember, only rain down the drain! 

While our community strives to prevent trash and pollution from entering the storm drain system, pollution still exists, and trash remains an issue in our local watersheds. Therefore, the City of Goleta is committed to the goal of full trash capture and plans to install full trash capture devices in storm drains throughout the city. Sources of trash include littering and dumping. Types of trash that are particularly problematic in the oceans and creeks include cigarette butts, paper, fast food containers, plastic grocery bags, cans and microplastics. Each of these contribute to the large amounts of trash worldwide that has made it into the ocean, often referred to as “the plastic ocean.” Additionally, these plastics can harm wildlife through ingestion, entanglement, and the dispersal of invasive species. 

City of Goleta full trash capture

How Can You Make A Difference?  

You can help prevent storm drain pollution and protect creeks and the ocean by following these great tips in our brochure, “The Ocean Begins on Your Street” in English and Spanish

Community members can also be a part of the solution by getting involved with the Beautify Goleta Volunteer Program. Beautify Goleta hosts Saturday morning cleanup events in neighborhoods throughout the City, generally every other month. Please sign up today and check out our next event details by visiting We hope you can be a part of the #BeautifyGoleta team of volunteers. If you have any questions, email