AUSTIN — Winter Texans from all over the United States and Canada pitched in Saturday to haul 6,875 pounds of trash - more than 3.4 tons - from South Padre Island's Edwin Atwood Park.
A total of 63 volunteers checked in for the Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Winter Texan Cleanup, removing more than one ton of trash per mile of beach. Overcast skies with a high in the 60s didn't deter volunteers from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Canada, Missouri, South Dakota and New Mexico. Wal-Mart treated volunteers to a continental breakfast before the cleanup.
Among the more unusual items found Saturday: a box of edible body cream from Hungary, a hypodermic needle, a glass medicine bottle, a roll of wire and a coconut.
The Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Program is one of the most successful volunteer efforts in the nation. The Winter Texan cleanup is one of three all-volunteer seasonal cleanups coordinated by the Adopt-A-Beach Program, and is held in cooperation with Cameron County Parks.
The goal of General Land Office's Adopt-A-Beach Program is to not only remove trash from Texas beaches and waterways but to also increase public awareness of the problems of marine debris and beach litter.
As volunteers clean up beaches they record data to learn more about the causes of marine debris and to help mitigate pollution along Texas' 367 miles of coastline. Since 1986, more than 423,000 volunteers have removed more than 8,100 tons of trash from the Texas coast. That's enough to fill up a line of dump trucks 90 miles long.
For additional information on the Winter Texan Beach Cleanup and the Adopt-A-Beach Program, or to participate in the next cleanup visit www.texasadoptabeach.org. You may also call the Texas General Land Office toll free at 1-877-TXCOAST.