Orange County launches Adopt A Channel program to keep waterways clear of debris, graffiti


Workers picked up nearly 600 pounds of garbage and painted over 12,000 square feet of graffiti over the past year in a 2-mile stretch of the Anaheim-Barber City Channel in Anaheim. That section of the channel was adopted by Disneyland Resort.

"When you care for an area, it turns out that folks see it and they respect it more," said Frank Dela Vara, Disneyland Resort director of environmental affairs. "And I think that we've seen a great drop in the amount of graffiti and the amount of trash that's been deposited there."

Disneyland Resort piloted the Adopt A Channel program and provided a $50,000 grant to the non-profit Orange County Conservation Corps, which helps at-risk young people through employment and training.

Orange County Public Works, Disneyland Resort and well-known artist Wyland unveiled the new Adopt A Channel program.

"Look at the history of Adopt A Highway, how successful that was. This, to me, is as equally important," said Wyland.

Officials with OC Public Works say they're expanding the program countywide and hope to work with various groups that can adopt even more channels.

More than 350 miles of flood-control channels handle storm water runoff in Orange County to prevent flooding in nearby neighborhoods. But the channels also collect a lot of debris.

"The trash that we don't take care of today ends up in these waters, finds its way into the ocean and wrecks havoc on all the life," said Wyland.

The county says the goal is to keep all of the channels free of debris that would otherwise flow through to the ocean.

"Here we are at the end result, and you see herons and snowy egrets and you see all the wonderful wildlife," said Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach. "This county is blessed with Back Bay and Bolsa Chica and we want to protect them."

Disney is the parent company of ABC7.

Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.