Conservation Partners Keeping Texas Clean

by Hanna Guidry

SPLASh

Ocean conservation isn’t just an issue for Texans on the coast – it’s something every person across our state can help mitigate. Every year, around 362 million pieces of visible litter pile up on the sides of our roads. Micro-litter (pieces of litter smaller than two inches) is similarly prevalent along Texas highways but much more difficult to collect. That uncollected trash is much more likely to end up in the ocean. How does litter in Dallas make it to the Gulf of Mexico 400 miles away? Texas’ river basins connect many of the largest cities in Texas to the Gulf – and they also collect literal tons of micro-litter!

Volunteers come out to clean Duck Creek in Garland. Photo credit Keep Garland BeautifulVolunteers come out to clean Duck Creek in Garland. Photo: Keep Garland Beautiful

Plastic and other materials can carry harmful chemicals and leach them into the environment as they are exposed to heat and erosion. When these items enter waterways, they can pollute the immediate environment and spread this pollution to other areas as they are moved down the river and toward the coast. They can also spread disease: when a marine animal consumes disease-spreading bacteria that was introduced to the environment via litter, it can transfer these illnesses to the humans who consume them.

Map of Texas Rivers Credit: Texas Water Development Board

Map of Texas Rivers. Photo: Texas Water Development Board

There are many conservation organizations in Texas working to fight litter pollution, especially in Texas waterways! Local cleanup events can catalyze Texans to beautify their communities and protect local wildlife, which has compounding effects downstream. Here are some of our Conservation Partners working to make a cleaner Texas a reality.

A group of people taking a group photo after a clean up Photo: Clear Texas LakesA group of people taking a group photo after a clean up. Photo: Clear Texas Lakes

Clear Texas Lakes: Clear Texas Lakes is dedicated to the removal of trash and debris from Texas Lake shorelines, creating a safer and cleaner environment for humans, wildlife, and aquatic life through sustainable programs, science, and education. Clear Texas Lakes continuously removes microplastics and litter from waterways, preventing heavy trash accumulation, raising environmental awareness, creating community service opportunities, and promoting healthy drinking water.

three people smiling with trash bags and pictures during a group clean up on the trail Photo: Greenspace DallasVolunteers smiling with trash bags and pictures during a group clean-up on the trail. Photo: Greenspace Dallas

Greenspace Dallas: Greenspace Dallas is a community-driven nonprofit dedicated to developing quality recreation opportunities along the Trinity River Corridor and educating future environmental stewards. They promote appreciation of the local Trinity River and have cleared nearly 1.5 million pounds of trash during weekly cleanups, preventing debris from reaching the Gulf and contributing to a cleaner ocean.

 A kayaker conducts a cleanup in Smithville using supplies provided by Keep Texas Beautiful. Photo credit: Keep Smithville BeautifulA kayaker conducts a cleanup in Smithville using supplies provided by Keep Texas Beautiful. Photo: Keep Smithville Beautiful

Keep Texas Beautiful: For over 50 years, Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) has improved Texas communities. Their Keep Texas Waterways Clean program makes waterway cleanups easy, cost-effective, and fun by providing cleanup kits and event-hosting toolkits to participants.

Group of volunteers with pickers and orange safety vests posing for a group picture. Credit: Keep Ennis BeautifulGroup of volunteers with pickers and orange safety vests posing for a group picture. Photo: Keep Ennis Beautiful

Keep Ennis Beautiful: Keep Ennis Beautiful is dedicated to transforming Ennis into the cleanest, most beautiful city in the great state of Texas. Through educational events, they are helping to teach the next generation about the importance of protecting local aquatic wildlife.

Two volunteers cleaning up litter from large rocks Credit: Stopping Plastics and Litter Along Shorelines - (SPLASh)Two volunteers cleaning up litter from large rocks. Photo: SPLASh

SPLASh: Stopping Plastics and Litter Along Shorelines (SPLASh) was created to address the overlapping issues of trash pollution and bird conservation in the greater Houston-Galveston region. Since its inception, SPLASh has been widely successful in cleaning up the Texas coastline, educating young Texans about marine debris and litter cleanup, and collecting data on the amount and impact of trash in the Galveston Bay watershed.

Texan by Nature’s vision is for every business and every Texan to participate in conservation and for Texas to be a model of collaborative conservation for the world.

We uplift our network of 160+ Conservation Partners by providing free, exclusive resources on marketing, program management, fundraising, and more. There are several ways you can help support these partners too!

Together we can rise to the challenge of natural resource conservation and get one step closer to bringing every Texan along with us!

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