Volunteers sought for beach clean-up
Jan Dicharry, a local Master Naturalist, invites Orange County residents to help with the beach clean-up at Sea Rim State Park this Saturday. Dicharry says the Texas Master Naturalist -Sabine Neches Chapter has worked with the Texas General Land Office on the Adopt-A-Beach program, for the last two years, both in the spring and fall, at Sea Rim State Park.
Saturday will be the 26th annual state event. The cleanup will take place at three sites in the Beaumont area.
Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said, “Join us Saturday, Sept. 22 for a fun time and a great cause, keeping Texas beaches trash-free.”
Volunteers should wear shoes, a hat and sunscreen. Participants will be given data cards, gloves, pencils and trash bags. Most sites along the coast conclude the day’s cleanup with cold drinks, hot food and lots of fun, including Sea Rim. Dicharry said they have lots of giveaways, cold drinks and barbecue.
Volunteers may register on-line at www.TexasAdoptABeach.org or become a fan of the Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach program on Facebook. Texans who can’t make it to the beach but still want to support the effort can make a tax-deductible donation at www.TexasAdoptABeach.org. Sponsorship levels range from $25 to $25,000.
The Adopt-A-Beach program began in the fall of 1986, when 2,800 volunteers picked up 124 tons of trash. Since then, it has grown into one of the most successful all-volunteer efforts in the nation. In 26 years, 430,000 Adopt-A-Beach volunteers have picked up more than 8,300 tons of trash from the Texas Gulf Coast.
The data collected from the beach cleanups played an integral part in the passage of MARPOL Annex V, an international treaty that prohibits the dumping of plastics in the world’s oceans. In July of 1991, the International Maritime Organization designated the Gulf of Mexico and the Wider Caribbean as a “special area” where the dumping of trash, with the exception of finely ground food scraps, is prohibited.
Shell Oil Company is the statewide sponsor for the event. Other sponsors include Apache Corporation, AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry LLC, Cheniere Energy, Halliburton and the Ocean Conservancy.
Dicharry said they have a mermaid named “Sea Rim Serena” that will be welcoming visitors. She is a life-size mermaid made of recycled material. She even has her own wardrobe trunk with different outfits including a Christmas one.
“Serena won first place in the Shangri La scarecrow contest last fall,” said Dicharry. The mermaid has been in two parades, two beach cleanups and visited schools for a marine debris program that Dicharry puts on with her sister, Susan Ellis. “We do it so people are aware of what beach debris is. I have lots of examples.” Dicharry said she has accumulated quite a collection of debris. She said if anyone would like to have a presentation, to contact her.
To join Dicharry, check in at the Sea Rim State Park entrance, 10 miles west of Sabine Pass on Highway 87 South. Look for Serena at the entrance.
Contact Jan Dicharry at 409-920-9082 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other sites are also available for adoption.
• Pick a site and contact the site coordinator or register online at www.texasadoptabeach.org.
• Pre-register large groups with the site coordinator or online, on or before Wednesday, Sept. 19.
• Wear sunscreen, shoes, sunglasses and a hat.
• Bring plenty of drinking water.
• Check in by 9 a.m.
• Do not disturb the habitat of nesting shorebirds.
• For your safety, stay off the dunes.
• We’ll clean rain or shine!
Photo: Sea Rim Serena will be greeting beach cleanup volunteers Saturday at Sea Rim State Park. She is made from beach debris and other recycled materials. Photo by Jan Dicharry