Texans for Clean Water praises Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs for taking on critical issue of windborne and waterborne litter

From: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/12/prweb13135617.htm

Members of Texans for Clean Water praised members of the Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs for focusing on the issue of wind and water borne litter during the committee’s first interim committee meeting of the 84th Texas Legislature, The committee met on December 8th and discussed a host of issues that its members will address before the start of the 85th Texas Legislature in January, 2017. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick included the important issue of windborne and waterborne litter in the list of interim committee charges the committee members will be tasked with studying during the interim. They will then make recommendations for their legislative to consider in the upcoming session. Witnesses from the City of Fort Worth, City of Fort Stockton and San Marcos River Foundation came before the committee to provide written and oral background information on the litter issue.

“Texans for Clean Water want to thank Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick for charging the committee with studying this issue since it has become a widespread problem affecting all Texans, especially those in rural Texas and those engaged in the agricultural industry. “Litter is a blight that lowers land values; deters economic development, outdoor recreation, and tourism; and diminishes overall quality of life,” said Mike Booth, a leader of the group.

Witnesses at the hearing told committee members about the fact that plastic bags and containers have caused tremendous problems to critical wastewater infrastructure systems in rural communities. They said that rural communities are especially impacted with open landscapes and limited budgets. The City of Fort Stockton became one of the first cities in Texas to ban plastic bags along with other litter control ordinances because of the negative impacts to their residents and economy. “If you leave (litter) alone and don’t take care of it, the rats will take over Texas,” testified Warren Oakley, a City of Fort Stockton Building Official.

“This is a statewide problem with far-reaching economic impact that needs to be addressed. The agriculture industry, hunting enthusiasts, industrial plants and our taxpayer-funded city utilities all must increase costs to deal with this problem of litter in our fields and streams. This is a problem that affects all Texans and quietly increases costs to Texas taxpayers and consumers through taxpayer-funded cleanup and maintenance efforts,” said Booth, who is a well-respected Austin-based water attorney and environmental expert.

Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner commenting on the committee’s charge said, “I am pleased and gratified that Lieutenant Governor Patrick has included litter to those issues the Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs will be studying this interim. I look forward to working closely with Chairman Charles Perry and the committee members to find ways to preserve our important Texas natural resources, to help Texas agricultural producers and ensure a way we can hand our children and grandchildren the same beautiful Texas that was handed to us.”

Texans for Clean Water was formally organized in 2013 when Mike Garver of Houston and Trammell Crow of Dallas joined forces to bring the problem of floatable debris in our waterways to state and local officials. The goal of Texans for Clean Water is to organize a statewide group of business leaders through a common initiative. Revitalizing our waterways improves neighborhoods, brings recreational opportunities to our communities, and encourages economic growth. Education and collaboration between the business community and the government are key to developing and adopting best practices to prevent storm water debris and litter from entering our waterways. For more information, please visit their website at: http://www.texansforcleanwater.com/


01 2016

A Special Bag Hero for a Momentous Month

Jan2016 Bag Hero-Julie Findley On January 1st, Port Aransas’ ban on single-use plastic checkout bags went into full effect. It’s only fitting, then, that our Bag Hero this month is someone like Port A resident Julie Findley. As the chairperson of Keep Port Aransas Beautiful and a Skip the Plastic volunteer, Julie championed the move to ban plastic checkout bags.

She hopes everyone will start to bring their own reusable bags when going shopping and is “…optimistic that the transition from plastic to reusable bags will be smooth.”

Paraphrasing a Chinese proverb, she says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Preventing plastic bags from entering coastal and marine environments is just one step toward cleaning up our ocean.“

Kudos to Julie and the City of Port Aransas! For more information, go to: www.cityofportaransas.org/BAG_BAN.cfm


01 2016

American Cetacean Society – TAMUCC are our December Bag Heroes


Our Bag Heroes for December are the members of the American Cetacean Society – TAMUCC Student Coalition. As future marine scientists, they know all about the threats that littered plastic bags and other marine debris pose to dolphins and whales.

Want to save a dolphin or whale? Bring your own bag!


12 2015

November Bag Heroes

Philippe & Florence Tissot We caught up with our November Bag Heroes, Philippe and Florence Tissot, as they loaded their groceries into their car outside Sprouts. They are avid windsurfers and surfers who moved to Corpus Christi years ago to enjoy the bay and Gulf waters. They use reusable bags mainly for 2 reasons:

“The first one is convenience. It’s a lot easier to deal with 3 well-made and robust reusable bags to carry groceries than 15 flimsy plastic bags that come apart at the worst possible moment. “

“The other reason is that there is nowhere for the plastic bags to go after you use them once. They are not recyclable. Yes, you can take them to the store to be “recycled” but they end up sitting in big piles in warehouses. No one wants to deal with these things. So most of the time, they end up in the environment, or worse, in the ocean.”

Kudos to the Tissots for helping to keep disposable bags out of the ocean!


11 2015

AAF-CC Helps Us to Spread Our Message

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Skip the Plastic recently got a HUGE boost when the American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi chapter selected our non-profit to receive a complete advertising campaign! During their ONE DAY event last weekend, their professional members and TAMUCC Graphic Arts students created a wide range of impactful billboard, radio, print, TV and Internet ads for us. If that wasn’t enough, they secured $55,000 in media time and publishing so the ads can be shown on TV, broadcast on radio, and printed in local newspapers and magazines!

Thanks to AAF-CC’s generous help, more people will begin to understand the connection between their individual actions and the health of our bays, beaches and the Gulf. Look for the ads to start appearing in March 2016.


10 2015

Ron & Julie Bays are our October Bag Heroes

Ron & Julie Bays
We met our October Bag Heroes, Ron and Julie Bays, as they walked to their car after buying groceries at the H-E-B in Flour Bluff. Their reasons for bringing their own reusable shopping bags are simple and concise, “They look nice and you can pack them full without breaking like the plastic ones do. That means you can carry a lot more groceries in fewer bags.”

The Bays live on North Padre Island and enjoy the laidback coastal lifestyle. While their reasons for using reusable bags stem mostly from convenience, it also means that fewer disposable ones can end up littering the Island’s dunes and beaches.

Clean, scenic beaches, not shorelines littered with plastic trash, are what draw people to the Island. We applaud the Bays and all others who have made the shift to a better way of bagging their purchases.


10 2015

September Bag Heroes – Shoreline Sandwich Co.

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When Shoreline Sandwich Co. decided to expand to a second location in the 600 Building on Leopard Street, they decided to go all-in.

In addition to the delicious sandwiches, soups and salads, customers will find:
• Paper bags and cardboard to-go containers instead of plastic bags and Styrofoam.
• A recycling station for customers (employees also recycle containers accumulated during food preparation).
• Repurposed lumber used throughout the restaurant’s contemporary decor. Even the tables were made from former bowling alley lanes.

We congratulate Shoreline Sandwich Co. on its success and its fresh approach to creating a sustainable option to the status quo. Patrons appreciate the healthy food and upbeat dining experience.


09 2015

SEA Change


08 2015

Ticia Hanisch is our August Bag Hero


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.


08 2015

Really Texas?


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 pictures@texansforcleanwater.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?”


07 2015