Mobilizing volunteers around Galveston Bay

Boy Scout Troop 957 pose with their favorite ‘trash drinks’ after a successful clean–up event.

This past year, the care for Galveston Bay and its community was reflected through the outpour of participation and support during Galveston Bay Foundation’s (GBF) post–Harvey cleanup events, Trash Bash and Adopt–A–Beach sites, and at Abandoned Crab Trap Removal. All of these events helped connect the community to Galveston Bay and subsequently, to each other. And all of them were made possible by the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund grant it received through Restore America’s Estuaries.

GBF is pleased that it has received support from the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund grant for the third consecutive year, which makes continued, invaluable marine debris removal work around the Bay possible.

At post–Harvey cleanups, over 140 volunteers removed over 7,000 pounds of debris from sites around Galveston Bay.

Christina Butcher, co-sponsor at E.P.I.C. Service Learning Club from the City of Baytown brought her crew to volunteer at the Adopt–A–Beach site at Morgan’s Point.

“Being in the city of Baytown, we all have friends and family members that lost their homes during the hurricane,” she said. “We’re still giving back, we’re doing something that impacts us greatly. I mean who would come out and enjoy a beautiful day like today if they had to wade through all the plastic we just picked up?”

Each event funded through the SeaWorld Bush Gardens Conservation Fund grant brought compassionate people like Christina together and even while smashing traps at Abandoned Crab Trap removal, volunteers still circled the perimeter of the shoreline cleaning up any trash they found.

At GBF’s Armand Bayou Trash Bash site, Boy Scouts from Troop 957 brought kayaks and collected trash on the water throughout the day. They returned with tires, a random assortment of plastics, and enough plastic bottles to pick and pose for a picture with their “favorite trash drink.”

“All the guys had a great time and we picked up a ton of trash,” said Nick Risoldi, Boy Scout Troop 957. “It’s important to clean up trash to help the environment so birds and other animals don’t ingest it and get sick, and to help keep our waterways and areas clean for everyone to enjoy.”

GBF is thankful to its volunteers for their hard work and the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and Restore America’s Estuaries for making it all possible.

Interested in volunteering? Visit

Claire Everett is communications and marketing manager at Galveston Bay Foundation, a member of Restore America’s Estuaries.