Liquid News

Volunteers Clean San Diego Creek

Anyone standing on the road above San Diego Creek adjacent the Irvine Ranch Water District San Joaquin Marsh would probably not immediately notice any trash. But climb down the sides to the bank of the creek and tangled among the vegetation a bounty of garbage awaits. More than 100 volunteers did just that during the 16th Annual Inner-Coastal Watershed Cleanup Day on September 15.

“Coastal Cleanup Day focuses on cleaning up the trash on the shoreline,” explained Jim Meyers, Executive Director of Trails4All. “We thought we would work on that same day to clean trash out of the creek beds before it gets to the ocean.”

That empty coffee cup lying on the beach might have come from further upstream, Meyers contends. Indeed, there were many such cups and the usually rubbish pulled out of San Diego Creek – soda cans, plastic straws, construction debris, clothing, tennis and golf balls, food wrappers, alcoholic beverage bottles, fishing lines and lures, metal rods and aerosol cans. One group spotted a shopping cart in the middle of the creek but decided against wading in to retrieve it. Another group saw a tire, but it was in an inaccessible location. The biggest litter culprit was cigarette butts, with hundreds collected.

Most of the volunteers came from environmental classes and clubs at Northwood High School. There was also a group from Discover Home Loans in Irvine, a Girl Scout troop from Santa Ana, two students from Villa Park High School in Orange and a team from Booz, Allen and Hamilton Consultants. IRWD employees also helped clean the creek.

This was the 12th year of participation by IRWD. Volunteers fanned out within a two-mile stretch of the creek, from the 405 Freeway bridge to Campus Drive.

For more information about IRWD environmental programs, please visit our website.

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