In the one mile of beach that was cleaned, the volunteers collected 325 pounds of refuse.
Dwight Mutschler of Austwell has coordinated the cleanup for 28 years, two years before the General Land Office began the state’s program.
“We had a family of 4 came all the way from Victoria to help,” Mutschler said. “The turnout for the fall cleanup was better than the one in the spring.”
Across the state, approximately 9,316 volunteers pitched in for the Fall Cleanup. The volunteers removed 153 tons of trash from 29 sites, including Austwell, along 186 miles of Texas coast.
“The turnout this year was amazing,” said Jerry Patterson, Texas Land Commissioner. “We have expanded our social media efforts reaching out through Facebook and other online media to reach people who really care about the Texas coast and who want to help keep it clean, and it seems to be working.”
Volunteers reported finding a wide variety of odd items among the usual cigarette butts, plastic caps and lids, including a mixture of car parts, an intravenous fluid bag, a urinal, a crack pipe, a toilet, a dollar bill and a vial of blood.
A few items from Mexico were reported including soda and detergent bottles and also a “Bievenidos a Mexico” sign found at the Padre Island National Seashore.
Since 1986, more than 439,000 Adopt-A-Beach volunteers have picked up more than 8,400 tons of trash from Texas beaches, some of it originating from as far away as Asia.
Volunteers record data on the trash to learn more about the causes of marine debris and to help mitigate pollution along Texas’ 367 miles of coastline.
The next coastwide cleanup will be the Spring Adopt-A-Beach effort scheduled for Saturday, April 20, 2013.
Coastal cleanups are held three times each year and the program’s success is due to the hard work of volunteers, including local coordinators who work many unpaid hours.