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    Posted December 5, 2013 by
    Brownsville, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Sound off

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    Visiting Boca Chica Beach near Brownsville is an experience. Texas' Southernmost stretch of sand is the perfect place to escape crowds but one thing you CANNOT escape: TRASH!

    Not to sound like a tree-hugger from California but the debris and junk that floats around the marine environment in Texas is distressing to see. My eco-trip to the Arroyo River on Friday, Nov. 22, was marred by the tons of trash I could not believe my eyes I was seeing.

    The tour guide took me right up along the shoreline opposite Arroyo City and plastic water bottles, twisted fishing line and bags floated amidst the beautiful mesquite trees clinging to the coast. Later that afternoon, I walked the South Padre Island Gulf each outside my hotel and was distressed again.

    My pet peeve: cigarette butts in the sand! And they were stubbed out everywhere, including the sand dunes which my hotel room taxes me on as a tourist to protect!
    There was trash floating in the water and it littered the beach. I wondered to myself: where are the concerned environmental groups here that should be coordinating and organizing beach clean-ups on a regular basis?

    Lastly, at Boca Chica, whose remoteness might mean less junk along the sands, Texas trash continued to mar an otherwise beautiful landscape. It could be that because trucks and cars can drive on most beaches in Texas and folks can drink booze right there too, it could translate into additional trash exposure on the sands.

    Boca Chica was really upsetting to me. One reviewer on Trip Advisor did not mince words: "this would be a beautiful place except for all the trash. Bring shoes because there is lots of broken glass."

    Thought the birding is fantastic here, the mounds of trash ruin the atmosphere for me. Litter bugs me, and there are big heaps of trash in the beach.

    There was an abandoned fishing pole
    stand, boards and a shovel on the beach. The usual plastic water bottles, cigarette butts and distressingly, the shell of a dead sea turtle.

    It was hard to enjoy the lovely landscape and breadth of bird-life in such a dirty, unkempt place.

    This is no diss on Texans or Texas. It is just a different place than where I live. There are different priorities, too, down in the south. But this is Sound-Off, and I want to state the obvious: If Texas wants to encourage tourism into the southern part of the state near the Gulf of Mexico, they need to get serious about offering a more presentable picture to visitors. As it is, my view as a first timer to Texas, was that I was not impressed that so little thought or action is given to keeping their shoreline treasures sparkling and picked up.

    Shocking! It was almost like going to an uncivilized place! Tree-hugger or not, I like my beaches clean and my plastic water bottles in a recycling container--not floating along a riverbed! Stop the trashing of Texas beaches!

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