CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS — The Adopt-A-Beach Expedition — a first-ever, competitive beach cleanup — drew contestants from as far as Alaska to the National Seashore Saturday in a race to see who could collect the most trash for valuable prizes.
Teams of four people each paid $80 for the chance to compete along a four mile stretch of Padre Island National Seashore. A total of eight teams loaded into four-wheel drive pickups with plastic gloves and trash bags and set to work cleaning the beach of debris. Together, they collected 5,075 pounds of trash, or more than two and a half tons.
Members of Team Eight — Erika and Kayleigh Schweickardt of San Antonio and Edward and Rebekah Stommel of Corpus Christi — won $50 gift certificates to Waterstreet restaurants for collecting the most bags of trash. Members of Team Seven — Sara Keefer, Amanda Stephens, Justin Quintanilla and Christian Ferris, all of Corpus Christi — won passes to the USS Lexington for collecting the most bottles and cans. Members of Team Four — Summer Hays and Beth Wilson of Corpus Christi and Juan and Nina Madrano of Edinburg — found the most rope, earning them free passes to the Texas State Aquarium. And Team Five — David and Jaelene Boyce of Alaska and Stacy and Lynell Jenkins of Waco — found the most shoes and items of clothing, netting them four passes to Schlitterbahn Water Parks. Crystal Wilson, of Corpus Christi, won a Yeti Cooler in a post contest drawing.
The Texas General Land Office's Adopt-A-Beach program does more than any other volunteer program in the nation to take care of public lands, according to the U.S. Department of Interior, and is a three-time winner of the Take Pride in America Award. 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 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.