Volunteers pick tons of trash at beach and Port Mansfield Cut

3 days ago 17

PORT MANSFIELD, Texas – Several tons of trash was collected during the annual Port Mansfield Cut & Beach Cleanup.

Hundreds of volunteers participated in the event Miller and Kathie Bassler began organizing 15 years ago with the idea of keeping the area clean of debris and trash from across the harbor all the way to the cut.

Dozens of boats owned by fishing guides, private individuals and from the assistance of a San Benito-based boat dealers, The Sportsman, hit the waters of the Laguna Madre with people on board and who spent several hours walking along both sides of the water way picking up whatever they could find.

A lot of the debris consisted of plastic and glass bottles, caps, jugs, shoes of all sorts, old gill nets, vehicle parts and even a truck tire with the rim still attached.

Once the trash was collected, it was transferred over two large boats and taken to a dumpster provided by the Port Mansfield Navigation District.

Students, parents, and friends all helped with the cleanup.

Andrew Butler has been bringing family for a number of years.

Two of his daughters, Logan, 11, and Morgan, 13, said they like to contribute because of their love for the outdoors and the wildlife.

“We like to help the environment,” Morgan Butler said. “We know harmful plastic is for the sea turtles.”

The Millers said everything went well even though attendance was down this time.

“We had more than 350 people saying they will be here,” Miller Bassler said. “I would estimate a little more than 250 showed up.”

Perhaps one reason that was attributed to the brutal weather and the strong winds pounding the area.

But on the day of the event, held Saturday, June 7, the wind came down but the heat started to pick up later in the morning.

The Millers got the idea for cleaning the area after Hurricane Ike trashed the same spots people have been cleaning since.

That was in July 2008.

They said they couldn’t let bad weather ruin the places they really enjoy.

Several small pockets of sand are frequented by the locals off the water way. So is the beach on both sides of the north jetty.

Many of the volunteers come from all the Rio Grande Valley and from as far as Houston and Corpus Christi.

The cleanup also is supported by dozens of sponsors that contribute with meals, lodging and supplies for the cleanup.

They included local and out-of-own businesses, energy companies, food distributors and many others.

Editor’s Note: Here is an audio recording of an interview Ron Whitlock conducted with beach cleanup organizer Kathie Bassler:

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