Staff at Padre Island National Sea Shore have been busy removing large pieces of wood and other debris that washed up on the beach. They also say they don’t know where it came from.
William “Buzz” Potts, the education coordinator at the Sea Shore says they’ve cleaned up the northern part of the park, but as you drive farther South, the beach debris gets much worse.
“Regular visitors here are used to seeing it, but this is really an incredible amount,” said Botts.
Botts says the beach debris has been washing up for a couple weeks. But over the weekend, even more debris appeared, making some areas impassible for crews and beach visitors.
“We took a drive down and there was a fair bit of stuff in the way,” said Rick Bordman, a PINS visitor. “They’re logs that you wouldn’t be moving yourself,” said Kim Bordman, his wife.
BEACH DEBRISA lot of debris has been washing up on the beach. We're not really sure where it's coming from, but we're…
Posted by Padre Island National Seashore on Thursday, January 31, 2019
Staff began clearing the debris on Monday, starting in the area near the Malaquite Visitor Center. Using big machines, staff were able to clear the northern part of the park, up until mile marker 10.
Botts says most of the debris is found in the Big Shell Beach area, which is about 15 miles south of the park entrance.
However, it’s anyone’s guess as to where it came from.
“It’s conceivable it was just out somewhere in the Gulf, the currents were moving it around, and then suddenly it came in,” said Botts.
Botts says the larger debris will be placed near the dunes. But the smaller stuff could be used for another cause.
“It is usable wood,” said Botts. “So who knows, maybe for the beach collectors and beachcombers, they may hit the jackpot.”
So let the collecting and combing begin.
Park staff also recommend checking in with the visitor’s center first, before heading to the beach. They’ll let you know if there are any issues or something unusual on the beach.