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Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is the Texas Adopt-A-Beach program?

The Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach program is an-volunteer effort that began in 1986. The Adopt-A-Beach program keeps Texas beaches clean through annual all-volunteer cleanups, educates Texans, young and old, about harmful marine debris and rallies Texas support for state, national and international action to clean coastal waters.

2) What’s the International Coastal Cleanup? Is the Texas Adopt-A-Beach program part of that or is it different?

The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is an annual event hosted by the Ocean Conservancy on the third Saturday of every September. The Ocean Conservancy works with various organizations and agencies to coordinate volunteers to clean beaches and record their findings in different states. The Texas Adopt-A-Beach program serves as the ICC coordinator for Texas. Our Fall/ICC Cleanup is generally held on the fourth Saturday of September each year unless it conflicts with a holiday.

3) What can I do to help clean the beach?

Help us keep Texas beaches clean by attending one or both of the coastwide cleanups held all along the Texas coast, or by donating online to the Adopt-A-Beach program.

4) When are the beach cleanups?

There are two coastwide cleanups each year, one in the fall, generally held on the fourth Saturday of September and one in the spring, also held on the fourth Saturday in April. If either cleanup conflicts with a holiday, then the event will either move forward or back one week. There are also two smaller regional cleanups in February. On the second Friday of February, the annual Winter Texan Cleanup takes place on South Padre Island, followed by a Coastal Bend Winter Cleanup on Saturday in the Corpus Christi area.

5) Where do I go to clean the beach?

There are multiple site locations all along the Texas Coast. Nearly all coastal counties participate in our cleanups. Look under the “Participate” tab to find the cleanup location nearest you.

6) How do I register for Adopt-A-Beach?

You can register online at texasadoptabeach.org or you can contact a local site coordinator and register through them. The “Participate” tab has a listing of all cleanup site locations and their coordinator’s contact information.

7) What if it is raining on the day of the cleanup?

The Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach cleanups are held rain or shine. However, if threatening weather endangers the safety of our volunteers, a cleanup may be cancelled. Please pay attention to the local forecast before heading out to the beach.

8) What time does the cleanup start/finish?

All Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach cleanups are held from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon. Please check in that morning between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. and get your cleanup supplies. Most sites offer a complimentary lunch following the event – usually 12 to 1:00 p.m. Check with the local site coordinator to see what activities are planned.

9) Will there be any other activities or food?

Many site locations offer a complimentary lunch following the cleanup. To get details on the site you plan to visit, contact the local site coordinator directly. All contact information can be found on the “Participate” tab on our Web site.

10) Where can I stay when I go to a beach cleanup?

The Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach program has agreements with many coastal hotels to provide discounted rates for Adopt-A-Beach volunteers. To view a list of sponsor hotels with contact information, please visit www.texasadoptabeach.org/participate.html.

11) How can I get my school and/or organization involved?

Schools, businesses and volunteer organizations are the backbone of the Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach cleanup effort. The first step in getting your school or organization involved is to decide which location you plan to attend. Next, you can either register the group online (one person can sign up for the group), or - contact the local site coordinator and let them know that you are coming to their event.

12) What is the minimum age requirement to participate in an Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup?

There is no minimum age requirement as long as anyone under the age of 18 is accompanied by a parent, guardian or chaperone. We require all volunteers who participate in an Adopt-A-Beach event to sign a registration/liability waiver form, and if they are under 18 they must have a parent, guardian or chaperone sign for them.

13) What should I wear to the cleanup?

On cleanup day, you should wear sturdy shoes – no open toed shoes, sunglasses and a hat. Also, please consider a high-SPF sunscreen for you and any children who might also be volunteering, and bug repellant just in case.

14) Do I need to bring my own supplies?

The local Adopt-A-Beach coordinators will provide you with trash bags and non-latex gloves to clean the beach. You will also receive data cards and pencils to track the type of trash you are removing from the beach. Please remember to bring plenty of drinking water, especially if children will be joining you at the cleanup. Lunch may or not be provided at your particular location; please check with the local site coordinator.

15) Do I have to pay to get involved?

A donation is not necessary to participate in the program. However, donations are always appreciated. You may donate online at texasadoptabeach.org or mail a check to:
Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach program
P.O. Box 12873
Austin Texas 78711.

16) If I am assigned a mile of beach to clean and it is located within a park which requires an entrance fee – or in an area that requires a beach permit, must I pay to enter the park or buy a beach permit?

You should not have to pay an entrance fee or buy a beach permit to go and clean the beach. Most local beach authorities waive the entrance fee and beach permit requirements on our official beach cleanup days in April and September. However, if you are approached to pay a fee or purchase a permit – either on beach cleanup day, please show your data card and clean up supplies as proof that you are there to clean the beach.

If you still need assistance after reading this information, please email the Adopt-A-Beach program or call 1-877-TXCOAST (892-6278).