CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Spring break brings thousands to local beaches, but when the visitors leave, the reminder of their visit stays in the form of garbage left behind.
“It’s a little disheartening when people come to visit our beach and do leave things behind. We have beautiful beaches, so we like to keep them that way. It’s something I’m accustomed to after 32 years of surf fishing, is that happening every holiday weekend,” said Terry Samuels, who organized an event to clean up Whitecap Beach Saturday.
About a dozen volunteers helped Samuels pick up trash on the beach. Two of those volunteers, Eric and Cory Tschoerner, were visiting from Austin. The couple frequently visits the area with their son, Patrick, and try to clean up whenever they come across trash. They saw a post Samuels put on Facebook, and wanted to help.
“You can see the carelessness in some of the people that visit. Stuff gets stepped on, or pushed in the sand, and they forget about it,” Eric Tschoerner said.
The Tschoerners said they saw a multitude of things during their cleanup, from socks and sunglasses, to beer bottles, used dog waste bags, and even drugs.
Another volunteer out on the beach Saturday was Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo.
“I really support so much of what Terry does for our community, and of course, as mayor, this matters, every part of the city matters. So, it’s important that we support these efforts,” Guajardo said.
A native of Corpus Christi, Guajardo said it’s important for people to be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
“When people are gone from vacationing or spring break, this is our backyard, and it’s critical that our residents here continue to enjoy clean, beautiful beaches,” she said.
Samuels said he wanted to organize the event to help the city sanitation department by lending a hand, but he also wanted to protect the local wildlife.
“It’s about beauty and respect, and it’s also about sea life. These things that blow into the water, blow into the dune, and can affect the birds or the turtles, so we don’t want to harm them either. We lost enough turtles this year as it is,” he said.
Samuels hopes the event will continue every year, and will continue to grow and inspire the next generation.
“I just want to hopefully use this as a tool to hand down to future generations to keep doing the same thing,” he said.