This weekend the largest, single-day, waterway cleanup in Texas will transpire across shorelines throughout the Galveston Bay watershed, including in Baytown, for the 26th annual Trash Bash.
The River, Lakes, Bays ‘N Bayous Trash Bash will involve hundreds of volunteers that will take to the shorelines at the Baytown Nature Center, 6213 Bayway Dr., Saturday morning for cleanup.
On-site registration begins at 8 a.m., with cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon and lunch, door prizes and activities from noon to 1 p.m.
To save time you can also register online by visiting www.TrashBash.org. So far about 155 volunteers have registered online.
“This is a huge help for us because being on the bay we get stuff washed in at all times. It’s not so much trash from people throwing it on the ground, it’s more things that wash in,” Tracey Prothro said, superintendent of natural resource programs for the City of Baytown. “It’s a 450-acre park, and so every piece of trash that we get out during Trash Bash is a huge help for us.”
“Plus it also gets the public out there to see the park and understand how critical it is to keep those shorelines clean,” she added.
The shorelines of Scott Bay, Crystal Bay and Burnet Bay will be cleaned. Gloves and trash bags will be provided and closed toed shoes are recommended with water shoes suggested.
Last year nearly 250 volunteers helped clean the Nature Center, filling about 64 bags with trash.
“It’s a fun day,” Prothro said. “It’s interesting to see what washes up. We don’t want it on the shorelines but we count things like how many hardhats we get, we count how many ways a ball can be made of plastic that floats, and we’ll even look for the most interesting piece of trash that we pick up. It turns into a fun and educational day that also really helps us out.”
Chevron Phillips is sponsoring the Trash Bash at the Nature Center once again, which Prothro very much appreciates.
“They’ve sponsored this from the beginning, and we always appreciate them for helping us out with this event,” she said.
Other than the Nature Center, 15 different sites across the greater Houston area will be cleaned, with a mission to promote environmental stewardship of the watershed through public education utilizing hands-on educational tools while developing partnerships between environmental, governmental and private organizations.
“It’s a great opportunity for residents, students, and businesses to get hands-on experience about the effects of littering and learn about simple ways to reduce water pollution at home through interactive educational exhibits,” Lori Traweek, president of the nonprofit Texas Conservation Fund, which manages Trash Bash with administrative support by the Houston-Galveston Area Council, Gulf Coast Authority, and a volunteer steering committee.
In 2018, about 3,600 volunteers collected 85.5 tons of trash, one ton for recycling and 356 tires, while cleaning 158.8 miles of shoreline.