Last month I reported on an organization that is doing an amazing work in Aransas County, helping restore the communities of Fulton and Rockport as they get back on their feet after a bad actor named Harvey drew a bullseye on the two coastal communities. The group is Keep Aransas County Beautiful (KACB) and their post-Harvey mission and accomplishments continue to be highly-commendable.
The initial focus of KACB was assisting residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed during the storm to find alternative housing, food, drinking water, and other necessities of life. As that crisis became more manageable, KABC shifted gears to cleanup mode, becoming involved with various organizations and agencies removing mountains of storm debris from bay waters, shorelines, streets, and highways.
Approaching the two-year anniversary of Harvey’s landfall, KABC remains engaged in many projects, not the least of which is outreach to encourage recreational boaters and fishermen to practice better litter management.
Have you ever followed a boat being trailered down the highway? What about a plain old pickup truck that wasn’t towing a boat…ever noticed trash blowing from the bed of the truck? I’m sure you have; it happens all too frequently. And, sadly, a lot of the trash that blows from vehicles eventually finds its way into waterways that drain into the bay.
I have mentioned this before; the road I live on dead-ends into the Intra-Coastal Waterway. Charlie’s Bait Camp, at the end of the road on the ICW, is a very popular destination for launching boats and purchasing bait and refreshments for a day of fishing. On busy summer weekends I have counted close to 100 vehicles with boat trailers in their parking lot.
Most fishermen, as soon as they get their boat on the trailer, head for the cleaning table to take care of the day’s catch. With that done, anxious to get headed home or wherever they will be spending the night, they toss bags of fillets in ice chests, and hit the road. It is always very disappointing, that first mile or so of Lane Road, becomes a catch-all for all manner of trash that blows out of trailered boats. I have seen it so many times. Hand towels, ice sacks, plastic shopping bags, aluminum cans and plastic bottles – if it is not disposed of or stowed properly, it’s likely to find its way into the roadside ditch. And ditches drain to the ICW!
It’s the same everywhere and KABC has a plan. They have gained permission from an organization engaged in a similar mission on Mobile Bay (MobileBayNEP.com) to use a piece of clever cartoon-art to help spread the message.
KABC is planning billboards, signage at boat launches and other fishing-related destinations, bumper stickers, and handbills to get the word out. KABC and Mobile Bay NEP deserve a hearty salute from all that care about the health of our bays and the coastal environment. Hopefully the message will sink in.Visit www.kabc.org to learn more and make donations.