Sad Snack


Diamond-shaped Bite Marks by Juvenile Sea Turtles, Mustang Island State Park, Corpus Christi, Texas June 2019

After the hatchling release last weekend, Lindy and I strolled down the Padre Island National Seashore (PINS). We enjoyed the cloud cover and cooler weather but we weren’t purposeless, instead we gathered trash along the beach. By the end of our three mile jaunt, we filled two twenty gallon bags and hauled off armloads of larger debris. It should come as no surprise that the majority of the items we picked up were plastic.

A survey published in 2018 found that Texas beaches have ten times the plastic trash of other gulf coast states (primarily due to the flow of currents in the Gulf of Mexico). It went on to state that Texas leads the nation in marine debris (and that’s saying something considering the waves of trash that washed ashore in the Pacific Northwest after the 2011 Tōhoku tsunami). Note: the study began with NOAA’s hands-on assessments in 2010 and ran through 2015, but it also utilized over 30 years of data accumulated by the Ocean Conservancy.

We felt good about our effort that morning, even though we knew the next high tide would deposit yet another load of trash. When I get disheartened I remind myself that every little bit helps…

Categories: Nature Notes


  1. What I pictured was not adult Erin, but the two foot tall Erin I remember with tiny hands full of litter on every walk. You have not changed, your hands just got bigger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True! I’ve been picking up litter for as long as I can remember. It is impossible for me to be in a beautiful, natural place and be surrounded by trash. I’m not able to relax, so I might as well pick it up. Feels good leaving an area better than I found it. A little girl on the beach asked me what I was doing and I said, “Picking up trash because I don’t like to have it all around me.” She tilted her head while thinking about it and then she replied, “Yeah, me neither.” Good girl! Maybe she’ll join me someday… 🙂


      • Summer program for kids, learn and do. Club to keep the beach clean through the year…they will understand. To tell the truth, even at my age, i’d Join up.
        You started this as soon as you could walk, have any memories?


  2. That’s a great idea! There are some good summer camp programs out here that get kids out into nature. I worked with a group of them on the oyster reef restoration projects and I was impressed with their efforts. They could take some of the trash they collect and make art out of it (an inside project for when it gets too hot outside). 🙂


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