POSTED: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 9:26pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 9:39pm
AUSTIN, TX — The results for Saturday’s 27th annual Fall Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup by the Texas General Land Office are in, and the number of volunteers exceeded all expectations.
On Galveston Island, an all-time record 4,748 volunteers hit the beaches, hauling off an astounding 119 tons of trash that could have otherwise killed or maimed dolphins, turtles, birds or other sea creatures. Statewide, the total number of volunteers who pitched in and helped out was 11,665. Together, they removed a total of 207 tons of marine debris.
“The push to spread the word on Adopt-A-Beach via social media is really paying off,” Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said. “As more and more people ‘like’ us on Facebook and share the message with their friends on Twitter, more and more volunteers show up on the beach.”
Since 1986, more than 458,000 Adopt-A-Beach volunteers have cleaned more than 8,700 tons of trash from Texas beaches.
Cigarette butts, beer cans and plastic bags are among the most common items found. But with each cleanup, plenty of odd and unusual items inevitably are reported. On Saturday, the list of weird stuff found on Texas beaches included a mannequin, a set of dentures, camping tents, the sail from a sailboat, swim suits, syringes and a toilet seat.
“None of this trash belongs on the beach — every day it kills and injures dolphins, turtles, pelicans and other wildlife that live there,” Patterson said. “Trashing Texas beaches isn’t cool.”
Adopt-A-Beach volunteers record data on the trash they find to learn more about the causes of marine debris and to help mitigate pollution along Texas' 367 miles of coastline.
The next Adopt-A-Beach cleanup will be a special, four-wheel drive expedition on Padre Island National Seashore Saturday, November 2. Only eight teams of four will be allowed to sign up for this competitive event and spots are filling up quickly so register now if you are interested at www.texasadoptabeach.org .
The next coastwide cleanup will be the spring Adopt-A-Beach effort scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2014.
The Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach program is an all-volunteer effort to remove trash from Texas’ shores. Coastal cleanups are held three times each year and the program’s success is due to the hard work of volunteers, including local coordinators who work many unpaid hours publicizing the cleanups in coastal communities.
Our corporate sponsors and local media sponsors provide the necessary resources to help underwrite the costs associated with our annual events. The lead, statewide sponsors for the 27th Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Fall Cleanup was Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises. Other statewide sponsors include: HNTB, Apache Corporation, Cameron International Corporation, Cheniere Energy, Flint Hills Resources, Halliburton, and the Ocean Conservancy.
South Padre Island Cameron County Parks, miles cleaned: 6, Tons Volunteers Collected (lbs) 1,526 7.29 (14,575)
South Padre Island City Beaches, miles cleaned: 4, Tons Volunteers Collected (lbs) 155 0.87 (1,750)
Boca Chica miles cleaned: 6, Tons Volunteers Collected (lbs) 635 4.88 (9,760)
County Total miles cleaned: 16, Tons Volunteers Collected (lbs) 2,316 13.04 (26,085)