Our August Bag Hero, Ticia Hanisch, can often be seen power walking along Ocean Drive. The scenery along Corpus Christi Bay is something we can all appreciate and be proud of. Walking, as opposed to driving, gives a person more time to view and enjoy the scenery as they pass through it.
Ticia’s logic for taking reusable bags to the store is straightforward:
“The reason you use reusable bags is because they’re reusable! You can use them over and over and they don’t end up blowing around and littering our city.”
Sounds like a great reason to us! We applaud Ticia and all the other unsung bag heroes who have made the shift to a better way of bagging their purchases.
Texans for Clean Water has announced their “Really Texas?” photo hunt:
“We’re documenting the problem; and we’ve all seen it. It’s on the side of the road. It’s in your local stream. It’s all over our beaches. It’s scattered throughout our parks and playgrounds. It’s flooding out into the Gulf. Texas is littered with tons of stuff that SHOULD have been recycled, but instead was turned into a costly eyesore. From bottles and cans, to restaurant to-go containers, too many times this recyclable material becomes common litter. Let’s change that! Let’s team up to prevent this Texas tragedy from continuing! Let’s start documenting the problem on social media, and tagging the pictures “Really Texas?”
This is your chance to get involved, and help shine the light on the nature of the problem as it appears in your neck of the woods (or streets, or waterways, or parklands, etc.). If you see an ugly scene that makes you think, “Really Texas?” take a picture, and share it with us. It’s that easy! YOU have the power to make a change; and let’s face it, Texas needs your help. Bottom line, today’s away-from-home land-based litter, becomes tomorrow’s Gulf of Mexico’s marine debris!
Email your pictures to email@example.com , and please be sure to identify where you took the picture. You can also share your pics on our social media feeds with our hashtag #ReallyTexas?”
Today, June 8th, is World Oceans Day, a time to celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all.
The Texas State Aquarium is celebrating the day by joining 400 other organizations to reduce plastic trash in the marine environment. This summer, they will conduct a green audit to reduce plastic waste and energy use, and will conduct at least 10 cleanups at North Beach and Packery Channel.
What can YOU do for World Oceans Day? If you haven’t made the change yet, please take the Better Bag Challenge and make the switch to reusable shopping bags. http://www.worldoceansday.org/challenge/
Our Bag Hero for June is Gayly Opem. As the leader of Skip the Plastic’s Rockport/Fulton team, she sets an example for others by bringing her own bags when shopping. She has a large collection of them in blue, green, red, turquoise, black and white stacked in the backseat of her car and jokes that she likes to color coordinate them with whatever she’s wearing that day. On a more serious note, she says:
“I believe in the power of recognition and positive reinforcement of good behavior. While walking through a store’s parking lot, I look for someone else carrying reusable bags. That person is usually a complete stranger, but I walk over and thank them for using reusable bags. Most look rather startled, but then give me a knowing smile when they see my own reusable bags slung over my arm. Try it sometime. You’ll be surprised at the friends you make.”
They’re all natives of Corpus Christi who want their hometown to sparkle again. Bringing their own bags when shopping is one small but important way they make a difference.
“We like going to the beach and know that people come from a lot of other places to visit Corpus Christi’s birding preserves. We need to protect these natural places so that more people can enjoy them.“
Hats off to the Cooks and all the other Bag Hero families!
Our April Bag Heroes are Dr. Jeremy Conkle and Danneille Kulaw. Jeremy recently established the Coastal Health and Water Quality Lab at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Dannielle works as a research assistant at Harte Research Institute. Jeremy’s lab will study the fate, transport and health impacts of pollutants, including plastics, in coastal environments while Dannielle’s research looks into the population genetics of marine fishes.
“We moved to Corpus Christi last summer and were very happy to learn about the efforts to solve the area’s plastic pollution problem. We have been working on minimizing our own plastic consumption for a while now, and that started with switching to reusable bags about 5 years ago. It is an exciting time to live here, but when you look around you know we’ve got a long way to go. With the growing community awareness, we know that Corpus Christi is on the right path, and we both look forward to being part of the progress!”
With a background in meteorology and geosciences, “Mac” recognizes the impact that each person can have on the planet. It’s often up to individuals whether those impacts are positive or negative.
Commenting on a plastic shopping bag, he says, “It’s amazing that this plastic bag….so light…so cheap….so innocuous….has become such a problem to our environment. I applaud the work done by many to bring the problem to light. I am sure the sea turtles also applaud their efforts!
Most of the time, I skip the plastic and carry my goods out by hand… or in a shopping cart.
Then other times, my reusable bag makes so much sense.”
Dr. Jeremy Conkle will lead research on the presence of microplastics in local marine waters and the impact on Gulf of Mexico fisheries.