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Turnout strong for Saturday's Big Beach Cleanup

Turnout strong for Saturday's Big Beach Cleanup
Posted at 11:14 PM, Aug 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-23 00:14:32-04

When Hurricane Hanna swept through our area, her storm surge left debris and trash all along our coastline.

Between 100 and 150 volunteers made it out for today’s Big Beach Cleanup.

Right at 8:45 this morning many groups made their way south of Bob Hall Pier to start picking up trash.

“There’s still trash everywhere so we’re gonna help the best community we can to help this,” said cleanup organizer Nate Thomas-Gonzalez.

Julia Gilliam, president of the Padre Island-Flour Bluff 4H Club, put this cleanup together when she saw Hanna’s aftermath.

“It was really sad to see our beaches like that,” Gilliam said. “It's not normal trash, it's little pieces of trash everywhere. It's sad to see.”

People of all ages attended - even a few county and city leaders.

“We've been waiting for the General Land Office to help us get debris off the beach and that hasn't happened as quickly as we wanted to,” Precinct 4 County Commissioner Brent Chesney said. “So having volunteer efforts like this from the community, and the turnout - it's just unbelievable, it really is.”

The goal is to clean up as much trash and debris as possible so everybody can enjoy our beaches again.

“If we just leave all the trash, the turtles are gonna start dying and the fish is gonna eat it and…it's, it's bad,” cleanup volunteer Jason Garcia said.

Each volunteer was given bags to collect trash.

“So all the trash right here in this space can, can go away and nobody gets hurt or sick,” Thomas-Gonzalez said.

The community-wide beach cleanup lasted until noon on Saturday.

And with the number of volunteers that showed up on Saturday, cleanup efforts were stretched about 7 miles south of Bob Hall Pier.