11 Environmental Volunteer Opportunities in San Diego

There are a lot of environmental organizations in San Diego Some are indigenous to San Diego, while others are branches of a much bigger environmental organization.

There are a few ways to make a difference with any of these environmental organizations in San Diego and one of the ways is to volunteer. Many volunteering opportunities are opened every month for people like you to take advantage of.

So, don’t be sad if you missed any in the past, we have some environmental volunteer opportunities in San Diego here just for you.

Environmental Volunteer Opportunities in San Diego

  • San Diego Environmental Center
  • Air Pollution Control (APCD)
  • Environmental Health
  • Environmental Sustainability Volunteer Project in the USA – San Diego
  • San Diego Coastkeeper
  • Environmental Conservation San Diego
  • San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA)
  • San Diego Habitat Conservancy (SDHC)
  • San Diego Audubon
  • Citizens’ Climate Lobby San Diego State University Chapter
  • Volunteer with Project Wildlife

1. San Diego Environmental Center

You’re in the perfect place if you want to become involved in the effort to make San Diego a healthier and more environmentally friendly city. View the most well-liked volunteer opportunities available here, or get in touch with them if you have another idea.

Beach Cleanups

Beach cleanups are a fantastic opportunity to spend time outside, make new friends, and maintain the beauty of our beaches. Participating in a Surfrider Foundation beach clean-up is advised. Here is the event schedule.

Habitat Restoration

If you enjoy physical hobbies like gardening and other related ones, habitat restoration is a fantastic fit for you. For their subsequent habitat restoration activity, they advise getting in touch with the San Diego Audubon or the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Other Opportunities

One of the most important steps in bringing about change is increasing awareness of the environmental problems people are facing. Fill out the form below to let them know if you know of a certain area that you’d like to offer. They try their best to match your interests and availability with a volunteer opportunity.

For more inquiries, click here

2. Air Pollution Control (APCD)

Opportunities for environmental education or enforcement volunteers. Administrative services entry-level tasks are carried out by volunteers.

Volunteer Coordinator: Diane Frickey (858) 922-0723 diane.frickey@sdcounty.ca.gov

3. Environmental Health

By defending public health and preserving environmental quality, promoting environmental awareness among the populace, and putting into practice and upholding local, state, and federal environmental laws, the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) improves the quality of life for San Diegans.

Retail food safety, public housing, public swimming pools, small drinking water systems, mobile home parks, and onsite wastewater systems are all under DEH regulation, as are water for enjoyment, above- and below-ground storage tanks, cleanup supervision, and waste and hazardous materials management.

DEH also acts as the Solid Waste Local Enforcement Agency, guards against disease spread by rodents and mosquitoes, and supports the maintenance of secure working environments for County employees.

For more inquiries, click here

4. Environmental Sustainability Volunteer Project in the USA—San Diego

Do you like being outdoors and wish to volunteer for environmental sustainability in San Diego, California? San Diego’s environment can be improved by volunteers, according to International Volunteer HQ’s Environmental Sustainability program.

Rising sea levels, more wildfires, storms, and heatwaves, as well as a decline in local plant and animal species, are all signs that the metropolis is starting to experience the effects of global warming.

By preserving the shoreline, biodiversity, and San Diego’s future readiness, volunteers assist in fighting these problems while gaining expertise in sustainability and environmental protection.


  • Programs begin every Monday;
  • Reasonable costs start at $626 for one week; and include lodging, airport pickup, orientation, and round-the-clock assistance;
  • Help with a community education campaign, the improvement of green spaces, the removal of exotic species, and recycling
  • Enjoy California’s beautiful beaches and sunshine
  • Stay centrally located in San Diego and close to popular tourist destinations.

This program is ideal for

Volunteers who enjoy working outside, getting their hands dirty, and are enthusiastic about environmental sustainability initiatives.

Working with sustainable community partners, volunteers can anticipate doing the following:

  • Planting trees and other plant species to reduce coastline erosion
  • Preserve the coastal ecosystems by cleaning up the beaches
  • Promote the utilization of green spaces;
  • Aid in nature conservation activities, such as the eradication of invasive species;
  • Provide environmental education through outreach programming for the local population.

Volunteer Requirements

  • All volunteers aged 14 and over are needed to present a criminal background check to IVHQ before traveling.
  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program. If those between the ages of 14 and 17 are unable to acquire a criminal background check, they may substitute two-character reference letters.
  • All volunteers must speak English fluently and be covered by proper volunteer travel insurance.

For more inquiries, click here

5. San Diego Coastkeeper

San Diego Coastkeeper’s community beach cleanup program provides twice-monthly volunteer opportunities. In addition, they occasionally ask for volunteer help with administrative duties, co-hosting beach clean-ups, and educational and outreach programs.

They gather a dedicated group of volunteers once a year to assist with Seaside Soirée, their sizable annual fundraiser and celebration of the last year’s worth of wins for clean water.

For volunteer activity performed at a Coastkeeper event or while under the staff’s supervision, the Coastkeeper is glad to provide community service verification letters.

For unsupervised hours, such as time spent utilizing our Beach Cleanup in a Box kit to perform your beach cleanup, the Coastkeeper cannot certify community service.

For those who have a lot of hours they need to put in for a certification program or a court order, You are invited to get in touch with them to ask about current availability as they periodically need assistance with in-office tasks like putting together teaching kits and stuffing envelopes.

Please write to volunteer@sdcoastkeeper.org if you have any questions.

6. Environmental Conservation San Diego

The ever-growing impacts of climate change felt worldwide are nothing new to the United States. This US volunteer initiative seeks to assist groups in the environmentally diverse city of San Diego that are attempting to adapt and react to these changes by working with a dedicated local partner.

The damaging effects that past behaviors have had on the environment are difficult to dispute, particularly the rising sea levels and extreme weather occurrences that endanger coastal US communities like San Diego.

More than ever, environmental sustainability projects require enthusiastic volunteers. This is very satisfying and meaningful employment because of the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals and acquire the knowledge necessary to maintain sustainability in daily life.

Objectives of the Project

Encourage the growth of green spaces and urban development. Raise public awareness of the need for environmental protection in all of our cities. Facilitate positive interactions between volunteers and communities across barriers of culture, religion, and socioeconomic status.

In this program, volunteers should anticipate working between three and five hours per day, four or five days per week, usually from Monday through Friday. Participants are free to explore this amazing city when not volunteering!

For more inquiries, click here

7. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA)

You can become a Conservation Ambassador and contribute to making the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park a lovely place to visit by signing up to volunteer with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA)!

By discussing the incredible creatures and conservation efforts of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, you will have the chance to interact with visitors from all over the world and encourage them to become allies for wildlife.

Your job as a new volunteer will be to interact with visitors and guide them through their experience at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

We are looking for people who:

  • Have a positive attitude and are willing to strictly abide by world-class policies, procedures, grooming, and customer service standards
  • Are enthusiastic about conservation and saving species around the world
  • Are flexible and composed in a fast-paced environment that changes frequently
  • Can commit to volunteering 60 hours per year, and are reliable and responsible.

Want to Volunteer at The San Diego Zoo?

If you are interested in volunteering at the San Diego Zoo in San Diego, please fill out this application. Quarterly recruitment windows are launched.

When you apply, you will receive an email with information on when to anticipate hearing from them and how to keep up with all of the great events taking on nearby the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.

Apply Online Here for Our Next Recruitment Window – San Diego Zoo

Want to Volunteer at The Safari Park?

If you’re interested in volunteering at Escondido’s Safari Park, please fill out this application. Once their next recruitment window is established, they will get in touch with you in late 2023.

Apply Online Here for Our Next Recruitment Window – San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Habitat Restoration 

You may restore habitats and leave a lasting impact by helping to remove invasive species, water numerous growing plants, monitor flora and fauna, and aid with their plant nursery.

The opportunities available to volunteers are spread out around San Elijo Lagoon and beyond. Additionally, you get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how wildlife prospers when people pool their resources to maintain the health of the outdoors.

Register Now

8. San Diego Habitat Conservancy (SDHC)

With more than 30 properties spread across the county, SDHC gives the general public the chance to study and practice habitat protection.

To carry out its maintenance and educational outreach initiatives, SDHC collaborates with nearby communities, students, clubs, corporate teams, and volunteer organizations.

Volunteers frequently help with tasks in one of their many preserves, such as cleaning up rubbish and invasive species, planting native species, and fixing fencing and preserve signage. Or simply come along on a monitoring visit to learn more about the regional ecosystems in San Diego.

Volunteers who participate in fieldwork are taught how to recognize local birds, mammals, reptiles, and invertebrate species, as well as invasive plant species, management techniques, and other conservation measures.

You can volunteer with SDHC if you want to learn about local wildlife and plant species, give back to your community, or obtain experience in environmental protection.

Participate in one of the ways listed below to help protect San Diego’s natural habitats. They are pleased to help you to identify a volunteer opportunity that complements your skills and objectives.

To locate a preservation close to you, visit their Preserves page.

How To Get Involved

Get in touch with Habitat Manager Vince Rivas at VinceR@sdhabitat.org if you’re interested in volunteering or interning with SDHC. Before participating in the preserves, all volunteers must complete a volunteer form (or this one if they are younger than 18). On request, group forms are available.

9. San Diego Audubon

Since 1948, San Diego Audubon has worked at the local level to unite the community in support of birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. Their volunteers contribute significantly to the success of our vital initiatives in conservation, education, and sanctuary. They are constantly in need of enthusiastic naturalists like YOU.

By contributing your time and skills, you contribute to their grassroots legacy.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Habitat Restoration with the Conservation Program
  • Anstine-Audubon Nature Preserve
  • Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Christmas Bird Count
  • Volunteer with a Committee

For more information, contact our Volunteer and Operations Coordinator.

10. Citizens’ Climate Lobby San Diego State University Chapter

Are you motivated to combat climate change? Citizens’ Climate is happy to have you. They are Californians just like you and me working together to pass climate laws.

They think the only strategy to combat climate change is together. They form bonds based on common interests, forge unanimity, and collaborate with elected leaders from all parties to find answers to the climate crisis.

Together, we have a much greater impact than we could have individually by initiating fruitful discussions about climate solutions in our community, encouraging more people to do the same, gaining community leaders’ support for climate action, and meeting with our members of Congress to urge them to support practical climate solutions.

For more inquiries, click here

11. Volunteer with Project Wildlife

The rehabilitation work done by Project Wildlife aims to heal the sick and hurt wild patients completely so that they can be safely returned to their native habitats.

At each of our sites, volunteers are essential to these efforts since we care for more than 13,000 animals annually.

For more inquiries, click here


Many individuals throughout the world have serious concerns about the environment. There are various ways to contribute to the preservation and restoration of the earth’s natural beauty, from planting trees to volunteering with animals.

Both you and the people you are helping out can benefit much from volunteering. Additionally, it’s an excellent method to connect with new individuals who share your beliefs and desire to fight for a better tomorrow for all.

Visit one of these organizations right away if you want the chance to have an influence. They will make every effort to match your talents and interests with the ideal volunteer position.


Editor at EnvironmentGo! | providenceamaechi0@gmail.com | + posts

A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.

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