Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials are gearing up for the 10th annual abandoned crab trap removal. Volunteer to be a part of this 10-day effort that will take place Feb. 18-27, and help save marine life that could get caught in these unused traps.

During this period, all Texas bays will be closed to crabbing with traps. Any traps left in a bay will be assumed to be abandoned and considered “litter” under state law, which allows volunteers to legally remove any traps they find. TPWD will be facilitating trap drop-off sites at several locations in each major bay system along the coast from 8 a.m. to noon on Feb. 19, weather permitting. Additionally, at all sites, dumpsters marked with banners will be available to receive traps for the duration of the closure. Volunteers may help out on Feb. 19 or work at their own pace anytime during the closure, but traps cannot be removed prior to Feb. 18 or after Feb. 27.

For more information about the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program and how you can volunteer, please contact your local TPWD Coastal Fisheries office or Art Morris at the Corpus Christi field station: (361) 825-3356. Learn more about why this program started, and find trap drop-off sites in the full press release.

Volunteering for this crab trap removal is just one of the many ways to help take care of the gulf. Tune in to the “The State of the Gulf- America’s Sea,” airing on PBS in Feb. 2011 to see how else you can get involved! Find air dates and watch at trailer at www.texasthestateofwater.com.