SPI, Boca Chica to participate in Texas Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup

Volunteer Ray Moore walks along the sand looking for litter Saturday morning for a SPI Beach Clean Up event along city beach on South Padre Island.(Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

Many Texans and visitors of coastal areas throughout the state will be participating in an annual fall activity this weekend that helps keep beaches clean and pristine.

The Texas Adopt-A-Beach 2021 Coastwide Fall Cleanup will be held on Saturday, Sept. 18.

This year marks the Texas Adopt-A-Beach program’s 35th anniversary.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the cleanup will be held from 9 a.m. to noon.

There are two site locations on South Padre Island for the Adopt-A-Beach cleanup — Access #3 on Gulf Blvd. and Andy Bowie Park at Access Road #2 on Highway 100.

There is also a site location in Brownsville for Boca Chica Beach. Check-in will be at the end of State Highway 4 at the beach.

According to Texas Adopt-A-Beach program officials, keeping Texas beaches clean and safe is an economic and environmental priority. They added that coastal tourism is a $7 billion industry and commercial fishing is a $1.9 billion business, which both demand clean beaches and a healthy gulf to thrive.

The Texas Adopt-A-Beach program was created by the Texas General Land Office. The program’s first cleanup was held in 1986.

“Due to tide patterns in the Gulf of Mexico, trash dumped anywhere in the gulf is likely to end up on a Texas beach,” program officials stated.

According to program officials, more than 551,000 volunteers have picked up nearly 10,000 tons of trash from Texas beaches, some of it originating from as far away as South America.

Texas Adopt-A-Beach program volunteers record information, such as the source and type of debris collected on data cards.

“This data has been instrumental in the passage of international treaties and laws aimed at reducing the amount of offshore dumping,” program officials stated.

Program officials are encouraging participants to follow CDC guidelines and safety procedures while clearing debris from beaches this weekend.

They recommend participants always wear gloves and dispose or wash them immediately after their cleanup. Program officials advise participants to wear closed-toe shoes and not to pick up sharp objects, especially syringes.

Additionally, they advise participants not to pick up any personal protection equipment among the litter without a trash grabber. They also encourage participants to keep a safe distance from all wildlife and be aware of beach conditions, such as high tides.

For more information or to register online, visit https://tinyurl/4u9ks6wp or email beach@glo.texas.gov.