New solutions could be the answer to a growing garbage problem around Corpus Christi
The Southside Light
Trash is a big problem and it’s so much of it is piling up along our shores, but where is it coming from? The answer is that in reality, it comes from all of us and while some jump in and do their part, others dismiss the problem and say that it is just a myth.
Recently, we traveled over 100 miles of roadway in and around Nueces County looking for what some call “garbage hotspots.” During our research, we found and collected over 600 pounds of garbage, most of it plastic, paper and construction debris.
You don’t have to go far to find it. Yorktown near Oso Bay was a hotbed for displaced garbage. In this popular fishing area, we collected over 50 pounds of trash and debris that was just on the ground and was easily accessible. Everything from fast food wrappers to used condoms were littering the shore just beyond sight of the roadway.
“It’s pretty disgusting,” says fisherman Abel Garza who fishes these waters nearly every single week and takes a bag of trash with him on every trip. “I have found clothes, tires and all sorts of stuff here.”
But it’s not just there. Drainage ditches and water flow areas are also massive entryways for garbage into our waters.
Over the course of two weeks, hundreds of pounds of trash was found littering storm water run-off areas around several Flour Bluff neighborhoods—especially near Laguna Shores.
In fact, everything from road signs to tools were found washed up along the Laguna Madre in recent weeks.
One big thing that Eric Fraizer is noticing is rope and cordage.
“I’m not sure where it’s coming from, but on any given week I gather feet upon feet of cordage around here,” Fraizer says. “With all of the wildlife we have here, it is very concerning.”
Travel out South Staples just beyond the city limits and the problem gets even worse. Once you get off the beaten path, you really begin to notice a problem with trash and debris littering canals and drainage ditches.
The garbage in these drainage canals and waterways is, in fact, only a small fraction of the trash problem. Much of it gets washed out to the bays and eventually into the Gulf.
Nueces County Coastal Parks and others are doing what they can to control the problem. However, some like Nick Casarez believe that the answer is in adopting new technology to help control the problem.
“We need to work together as one to find a solution here in Corpus Christi and around the world as a whole,” says Casarez. “If private citizens, local governments and business can come to the table with ideas then we can really do our part to clean this up.”
Casarez says that he would like to see more grates and filter systems put in place to capture some of the garbage. He believes that a system that captures the garbage is better than the limited systems that we have in place right now.
The problem is certainly not localized to just here in Corpus Christi, but there are those who believe that if we all do our part to clean our own backyards, then the problem can at least be somewhat contained.