By Naomi Osuna
La Habra Journal
Giving back is always a great way to spend your day and many La Habra residents did just that as they took part in the annual Inner-Coastal & Watershed Clean-Up Day last Saturday.
Volunteers spent the day helping clean the community and the environment by picking trash and other pollutants out of Los Coyotes Creek behind the Ross shopping center.
The Los Coyote Creek cleanup is part of the annual statewide coastal and intercostal cleanup effort. La Habra has been doing its part for the past 19 years.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Coordinator Melissa You has been organizing the Coastal Clean-up in La Habra for the last 10 years. She said that she is motived to help take care of her community and to keep the waterways clean.
One of the most serious pollution problems hurting our planet is trash in the ocean and in the waterways. Research has shown that the rising tide of marine debris is a growing threatening human health, wildlife and the overall environment.
You explained that at last year’s cleanup, the volunteers found about 600 pieces of trash, 500 of the pieces were trash, while 100 pieces were recyclable.
Volunteers at the Coastal Clean-up ranged in age. There were also Cub and Boy Scouts were working to give back to their community.
Bob Janicki, the Assistant Scout’s Master of troop 1814 has been attending the cleanup for 12 years.
Janicki said that the scouts want to help clean up and help their city.
“It’s an important event because the community gets cleaned up, and it shows the residents that the Scout’s care,” Janicki said. “I like to see it clean, it makes me happy.”
Michael Szekunda, the 17-year-old senior patrol leader of Troop 1814 has been volunteering at this event since he was a Cub Scout.
He said he chooses this event to keep the waterway clean because it goes straight to the ocean, and he enjoys the beach. He explained that he enjoys the feeling of accomplishment after he volunteers at the annual Inner-Coastal & Watershed Clean-Up Day because he feels he did something positive and important for the city.
“I want to give back to the community, for how they treat our [Boy Scout] troop,” Szekunda said.
La Habra Mayor Michael Blazey attended the event and helped pick up some trash at the annual clean up. He explained that this event is important because of the flow of water from Coyote Creek to the San Gabriel River and how it can be impacted due to the build up of trash.
He said that this event is also important to the community because there is an opportunity for volunteer service and it allows for La Habra to continue to be true to its motto of being a caring community.