AUSTIN — Thirty-eight of the most hardcore beach cleanup volunteers ever braved a brutally cold, wet and windy day at South Padre Island Cameron County beaches Friday, hauling off a ton of trash in the process for the Texas General Land Office’s Winter Texan Cleanup.
The wind chill wasn’t enough to deter volunteers wintering in South Texas from Canada, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota and Kansas. More than a dozen teenagers from Raymondville High School’s National Honor Society also earned their hardcore status. H-E-B sponsored the Port Isabel cleanup site with donuts, bottled water and orange juice and Schlitterbahn South Padre Island warmed the volunteers with coffee and hot cocoa.
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 458,000 volunteers have removed more than 8,700 tons of trash from the Texas coast. That’s enough to fill up a line of dump trucks more than 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.