Despite a frigid north wind, nearly 6,000 Texans spent the morning combing 28 popular beaches along the coast to bring in this potentially deadly haul of marine debris.
“Trash on Texas beaches kills fish, birds and tourism potential,” Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said after pitching in to help cleanup Surfside Beach. “The nearly 6,000 volunteers who showed up and got to work today to do something about it make me proud to be a Texan.”
Volunteers collected bags of the usual debris — cigarette butts, beer cans and other litter left by careless beachgoers. But a few more unusual items also turned up, including diving gear, a plastic turkey, a plastic donkey, a plastic alligator, underwear, a bottle of sulfuric acid, hair extensions, a burned mattress, a syringe, a bag of marijuana and a cooler full of hot beer and sodas.
The Adopt-A-Beach program is one of the most successful all-volunteer efforts in the nation. In the past 27 years, 446,000 Adopt-A-Beach volunteers have picked up more than 8,500 tons of trash from the Texas Gulf Coast.
Texans who couldn’t attend the cleanup but want to help can make a tax-deductible donation online at www.TexasAdoptABeach.org. There are several different Adopt-A-Beach sponsorship levels ranging from $25 to $25,000, allowing both individuals and corporations to contribute to this major cleanup effort. Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises were the lead statewide sponsors for the 27th Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Spring Cleanup. Other sponsors included HNTB, Exxon-Mobil Chemical, Schlumberger, Keep Texas Beautiful, Halliburton, the Newfield Foundation, the Environmentally Friendly Drilling Program and SeaWorld of San Antonio.
To learn how you can participate, or for additional information on the Adopt-A-Beach program, please visit www.TexasAdoptABeach.org or contact the GLO at 1-877-TX COAST. Those interested may also become a fan of the program at www.facebook.com/texasadoptabeach where event details and results will also be posted.