Cleaning up the Galveston Bay

Galveston Bay Foundation, a member of the RAE Alliance, has increased its focus on marine debris issues and initiatives for the past few years. RAE and the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund have proudly supported these efforts, and in 2019, Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) hosted several large and small-scale cleanup events around Galveston Bay. Each large-scale event was part of a broader, multi-organization statewide campaign.

The year began with Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program, an initiative that involves thousands of volunteers to find and remove derelict crab traps from the Bay during the ten-day state-mandated closure period. Abandoned crab traps have lasting impacts on the ecosystem, including unintended bycatch and lower harvest numbers. Galveston Bay Foundation hosted two crab trap removal sites and gathered more than 100 volunteers who removed 141 lost or derelict traps.

Volunteers smash crab traps for removal.

This past year volunteers also participated in the Rivers, Lakes, Bays N’ Bayou’s Trash Bash, a statewide event that aims to educate the public about the importance of the state’s waterways through hands-on clean-up activities. Galveston Bay Foundation’s Trash Bash site brought together 448 volunteers near the Armand Bayou waterway, and together they collected 5,500 pounds of trash and nearly 3,500 pounds of recyclables.

By mobilizing thousands of volunteers, Galveston Bay Foundation is able to produce significant conservation results for the Bay while also providing valuable opportunities for community outreach, education, and engagement.

“I have a love and respect for the great outdoors, so anything that helps keep it pristine and enjoyable makes me feel like a purpose. I did this event a few years back and a lot more traps were found then. From my perspective, a lot fewer traps are being left out there so that’s keeping the area nice and clean for wildlife and local fishermen to enjoy.”
LeAnn Kincaid, TCEQ Environmental Investigator and longtime Galveston Bay Foundation Volunteer

Check out our 2019 Accomplishments Report to learn more about the Impact of the RAE Alliance.

Photos courtesy of Galveston Bay Foundation.