Marine debris is a pervasive but preventable problem that threatens our oceans and coasts. Years of data collection from beach cleanups played an integral part in the passage of MARPOL Annex V, an international treaty that prohibits the dumping of plastics anywhere in the world’s oceans. The International Maritime Organization also designated the Gulf of Mexico and the Wider Caribbean as a “special area” where nothing except finely ground food scraps can be discarded. Due to a convergence of currents in the Gulf of Mexico, any item that is improperly disposed of will eventually make its way onto our beaches. Trash from neighboring states – and Mexico - can also be found on Texas beaches, but due to a convergence of currents in the Gulf it isn't uncommon to find items from as far away as China.
Help turn the tide against trash . . .
The good news is that the Texas General Land Office is working to remove trash on the Texas coast. The Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-BeachTM program is working to reduce marine debris by educating the public about the harmful effects that trash has on our ocean wildlife and human health. The program sponsors two coastwide cleanups each year and hosts special region-specific cleanups throughout the year. Learn More
Funding the fight locally . . .
To further assist with our mission and to further mitigate the problems of marine debris, the Land Office administers the Beach Maintenance Reimbursement Fund program which reimburses coastal communities for cleaning the beach within their jurisdiction. Learn More
The Land Office also encourages individuals to pick up trash and to dispose of it properly whether on land or at sea and to remind them that we all can create less waste. For every item Texans recycle or reuse, that is one less piece of trash that becomes part of the marine debris cycle.