Spring weather usually inspires mere mortals to clean their homes inside and out. Windows are washed and opened, winter grime is removed from walls and floors while closets and drawers are rearranged. Trees and bushes are trimmed, flower beds are prepared for new growth and gardens are tilled and planted. Piles of unwanted items and debris appear along city curbs and country roads. Throughout the country, local governments and volunteer groups then begin their community spring cleaning. Our coastal communities have the added concern of keeping the waterways clear of trash to protect the marine environment and provide safe and pleasing surroundings for the many guests who enjoy spending time at our beaches and on our bays.
During the springs of 2017 and 2018 the communities in my coastal world continued the massive hurricane cleanup following Harvey’s destructive visit. Due to the assistance of federal and state agencies and volunteer groups from near and far, these communities are now experiencing a more “normal” spring cleaning in 2019.
Keep Aransas County Beautiful (KACB) completed a cleanup of Salt Lake’s seven rookery islands and the shoreline just in the nick time. The water birds in the North Bay area begin nesting in February and the young nestlings may still be seen on these small islands in the bay system through July. Human visitors during this time is one of the primary threats to improvement in the growth of these bird flocks according to the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program.
KACB also held a local Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off as part of Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful events. A few miles to the south Keep Aransas Pass Beautiful joined forces with the City of Aransas Pass and OSB Jeepers in a Keep Texas Waterways Clean with the support of H.E.B./Central Market. The focus was to remove trash from Stedman Island and Harbor Island so that it did not enter the waterways.
As coastal communities encourage residents to dispose of trash as directed, keep the gutters clean and help by picking up any trash found in public areas, our coastal visitors can also be of great assistance to keep the waterways clean.
When packing for your fishing trip or day at the beach, include trash bags with your supplies.
Place all trash your trip generates in your own bags and dispose of in a barrel or carry it back home with you.
If you notice trash around the areas you are visiting, please help our communities by being part of Keep Texas Waterways Clean by adding it to the trash bag you are using for your own Trash-Off!
Are you in?