CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Free litter bags will be offered at local beaches this holiday weekend.
"The upcoming 4th of July weekend promises to be a busy one at our area beaches," says a post from CC Solid Waste Services. "Make sure you leave it better than you found it."
The Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department and Corpus Christi Solid Waste Services have set up blue boxes containing the free litter bags at:
- North Beach Access Roads
- McGee Beach
- North Padre Island Beach Access Roads
Beach litter is an ongoing problem, especially around the summer, but holiday weekends cause more beach traffic, which often results in more litter.
"No doubt that there is more litter on area beaches during the Summer months when the crowds are the biggest, once Fall arrives things settle down and there is less litter," says Cliff Schlabach, Chairman of the Texas Coastal Bend Surfrider Foundation. "Also after holiday weekends we see more litter but over the last few years people seem to be doing better at cleaning up after themselves and also City beach crews work hard to clean up our beaches."
Litter on beaches isn't just ugly. It can cause some serious harm to ecosystems and humans.
"Dog feces and dirty diapers are a big problem when folks don't clean up after their kids and pets, it gets washed into the water and causes a high bacteria content which can cause infections in humans," says Schlabach. "Plastic litter is also really bad because it ends up in the water and can be eaten by marine animals which can end up killing them.
Schlabach also pointed out that despite them being prohibited on area beaches, people still bring glass bottles and burn wood pallets, which pose a dangerous threat to beach-goers who might be walking barefoot in the sand.
"People start beach campfires and then burn the pallets which leaves lots of nails in the sand afterwards and glass bottles are sometimes broken and left in the sand for people to step on," says Schlabach.
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit organization that focuses on efforts to clean up beaches. Schlabach says the next big clean-up they have planned is when they team up the State of Texas to clean local beaches as part of the Adopt-A-Beach program. Until then, you can support and follow the organization on their website.