Last weekend, the Texas General Land Office hosted its 30th annual Spring Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup! The clean up included more than 25 locations along the Texas coastline.
Since the program began back in 1986, there has been more than 496,000 volunteers removing more than 9,200 tons of trash from Texas beaches. This year more than 110,663 pounds of trash was removed from 151 miles of Texas coastline, according to a press release from the GLO.
The United Nations Environment Programme estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. UNESCO
The United Nations Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution (GESAMP), estimated that land-based sources account for up to 80 percent of the world’s marine pollution, 60 to 95 percent of the waste being plastics debris.
“Due to tide patterns in the Gulf of Mexico, trash dumped anywhere in the gulf is likely to end up on a Texas beach. 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.” GLO.texas.gov
This year my 10-year-old son and I woke up early (6a.m.) on Saturday, April 23rd, and headed to Galveston Beach packed with healthy snacks and early morning energy (we are morning people – I am anyway) We arrived at 8:15a.m and got started almost straight away as we were one of the first people to register that morning.
We received 4-5 trash bags, pencils, gloves and a log to write down the stuff we found along the coastline. We also received super neat stickers and patches for our labor. And a complementary bottle of water and granola bars ❤ yum!
Plastic pollution is a problem, and now more than ever we need to educate our children and our adults to do better and more for our environment. Making conscious decisions and cleaning up after ourselves makes a huge difference. While cleaning Galveston Beach we found an incredible amount of cigarette butts and plastic bottle caps, as well as candy wrappers, foam cups, and plastic bags.
Tons of plastic debris (which by definition are waste that can vary in size from large containers, fishing nets to microscopic plastic pellets or even particles) is discarded every year, everywhere, polluting lands, rivers, coasts, beaches, and oceans.
We need to understand that our interactions with the environment can affect local ecosystems. Thousands of marine animals die every year due to plastic pollution.
Plastic materials and other litter can become concentrated in certain areas called gyres as a result of marine pollution gathered by oceanic currents. There are now 5 gyres in our ocean. – UNESCO
Also, have some respect for your surroundings and make sure you dispose of your trash properly. Along Galveston Beach you can find many trash cans a few steps from the bathing area, so there aren’t any excuses not to dispose of your trash.
My little helper learned a valuable lesson. I am sure he will think twice before throwing anything away in the wrong place. He understands the impact of pollution, and more importantly he understands that it is our responsibility to keep the earth clean. Mission accomplished! BIG thanks to the Texas General Land Office for coordinating this event, not only this year but every year twice a year. If you want to help either by volunteering during the next clean-up or by donating please visit :
Also, check out this video recap of our experience
Hope to see you during the next clean-up! and remember to pick your trash up where ever you go!