Liquid News

San Diego Creek Cleaned of Junk Before it Reached the Shore

Whether it’s a shopping cart, construction debris, soda cans or other garbage, getting those items out of creeks and rivers before it’s dumped onto the beach is the mission of Inner-Coastal Watershed Clean Up Day on the third Saturday in September.

The event coincides with Coastal Clean Up Day, but instead of fanning out on the shoreline, volunteers gather to clean inland tributaries – like San Diego Creek in Irvine, for example. Irvine Ranch Water District hosted a cleanup site at San Diego Creek, adjacent to the Michelson Water Recycling Plant, for the 16th consecutive year.

Trails 4All has organized the Inner-Coastal Clean Up for 20 years.

More than 100 volunteers gathered to clean up the creek and found a bounty of treasure hidden in the weeds. A group from teacher Angie Oliveras’ Northwood High School advanced placement environmental science class unearthed the grand prize – a couch. Another group from Northwood found a shopping cart and a tent – that showed signs it had been lived in at one time.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 818 found another shopping cart and an airline ticket from two months ago. Other items of interest were construction debris that might have fallen off trucks on the freeway, cans, bottles, cigarette butts, plastic bags, golf balls, a pool ball and a cart wheel, a portion of a Rubick’s cube, pieces of metal and host of fast food containers.

Rick and Jon Lyman were a father and son team. Jon, 17, attends University High School.

“This is something we can do together,” Rick said, placing their filled bags into the trash bin.

“Now, we’re off for doughnuts,” Jon added.

Ban Campbell, a youth pastor, brought several young people from his church and they filled several bags.

“This is a great experience,” he said.

Students participating could receive service hours for their efforts. Over the years, more than 30,000 volunteers have cleaned up one million pounds of trash and recyclables at sites in Orange and Riverside counties.

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