A Huntington Beach environmental nonprofit has partnered with the county in an attempt to block trash from flowing into the ocean through a pair of flood control channels.
The Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy, a group dedicated to restoring the city's coastal wetlands, and the Orange County Flood Control Division hope to have permits within a year to install booms in the Huntington Beach and Talbert channels, which intersect and drain near the Santa Ana River.
The conservancy approached the county last year after it finished a restoration project on the wetlands. As part of the restoration, the group removed a levee that had previously stopped storm water from draining into the area.
With the wetlands now vulnerable, the conservancy and county aim to place a boom, which serves as a filter for trash and debris, in each channel.
"Before, there was never really an opportunity for trash to flow into the wetlands," said Phil Jones, manager of the flood control design unit for the county. "It kind of flowed through the outlet, into the ocean and onto the beaches. But now that the wetlands are there, the trash is flowing into the wetlands."