Statewide Program Results in 647 Miles of Waterway Cleaned Across Texas
Volunteers from 147 communities across Texas banded together over the past year to tackle litter in local waterways, as part of Keep America Beautiful state affiliate Keep Texas Beautiful’s Keep Texas Waterways Clean program.
From September 2015 to August 2016, more than 25,000 volunteers participated in the program, contributing nearly 83,000 volunteer hours for a total value of $2 million in volunteer time. Volunteers collected more than 493,000 pounds of litter and recyclables from 647 miles of waterway and 11,063 acres of parks and public land.
The initiative raises public awareness about the need for healthy waterways and provides opportunities for community engagement.
“Waterways connect us to each other, to nature, and to future generations,” said Keep Texas Beautiful Executive Director Suzanne Kho. “It is wonderful to see so many people across Texas taking responsibility for improving their community environment. We applaud the work of these volunteers for their efforts on behalf of Texas waterways and the community.”
Communities across the state came together for a wide variety of Keep Texas Waterways Clean projects during the past year. For example, volunteer teams from Keep Wimberley Beautiful, Wimberley Business & Professionals Association, H-E-B and Hays County Master Naturalists held an event in tribute to the victims of last year’s Memorial Day floods, which caused widespread devastation across Central Texas and Oklahoma, claimed 24 lives, and destroyed or damaged thousands of properties.
As they cleared debris and litter from roadways and river banks, volunteers found portions of people’s homes, including shingles, doors, and bedposts, stark reminders of what was lost in the disaster. Keep Texas Beautiful celebrates the efforts of these dedicated volunteers and honors the memory of those whose lives were lost last year.
And the Keep Texas Waterways Clean events continue. On Saturday, Sept. 24, Keep South Padre Island Beautiful (KSPIB) will conduct a cleanup of the Lower Laguna Madre Bay, with the help of 250 volunteers.
“Keep South Padre Island Beautiful is committed to keeping the Lower Laguna Madre Bay clean so we can protect and restore it for us – and future generations. Participating in a bay cleanup is one way that community members can do their part for the waters we all love and have a fun time outdoors with friends and family,” said Susan Dalton, Chairwoman, KSPIB.
Keep Texas Waterways Clean, through funding from H-E-B and Central Market, provides supplies and support for waterway cleanup events to communities located within 30 miles of an H-E-B or Central Market store.
For more information on the Keep Texas Waterways Clean program, how you can get involved as a volunteer or to register an event, visit www.ktb.org.