January Bag Heroes are New to Town

Our January Bag Heroes are Alexa Obregon and Todd Jarrell, who recently moved to Corpus Christi from Austin. Like many people, “We moved here because we wanted to be close to the beach. When friends ask us what it’s like, the beach is one of the first things we tell them about.”

After being accustomed to Austin’s bag ban, though, the number of bags in fields and trees, and along shorelines throughout Corpus Christi surprised and saddened them. “A city this close to such wonderful natural resources like the bays, beaches and Gulf of Mexico needs to work to protect them.”

Not ones to wait for government to lead the way, Todd and Alexa are being proactive, “Bringing reusable shopping bags to the store is one small thing that we can do to help.”


01 2018

Our December Bag Heroes!

As scientists have found increasing evidence that plastic trash is causing significant harm throughout the world’s oceans, institutions like the Texas State Aquarium have stepped up to educate guests (they had 560K in 2016) about their role in solving the problem. They have also worked to reduce the use of disposable plastics in their own operations. We applaud the Aquarium and are thrilled to introduce our Bag Heroes for December: Renee Hays and Kristine Sankey, who manage the gift shop there.

When guests check out at the cash register, they don’t get a single-use plastic bag. Instead, they have the option of carrying their purchase without a bag, buying a reusable shopping bag made from recycled plastic bottles, or taking a paper bag.

The program has been well received according to Renee. “Single-use plastic bags are so detrimental to our environment, we are thrilled to be able to offer this program to our guests to help reduce the amount of plastic waste that ultimately ends up in our oceans. We are hoping to help educate guests that their everyday choices make a difference. By purchasing a reusable bag today that they can then re-use again and again, they can help contribute to preserving and protecting our oceans and their inhabitants.“


12 2017

November Bag Heroes

Our November Bag Heroes are the James family. Jason teaches engineering and aquatic science at Moody High School while Suraida specializes in STEM Education and Science Communication consulting. She says, “We skip the plastic because we want to skip the damage and harm they cause to our precious environment and wildlife. We consider ourselves examples for our daughter Evelyn and those we teach. We want to ensure they will be able to experience the places and see the animals we have enjoyed. Evelyn herself is already a budding conservationist.”

Thanks to efforts by the James family and others who have transitioned to reusable shopping bags, future generations will hopefully be able to enjoy clean beaches and bays throughout the Coastal Bend.


11 2017

TAMU-CC Researchers to Present on Plastics in the Local Marine Environment


10 2017

Our October Bag Hero

Our Bag Hero for October is Jane Green, seen here with her assistance dog, Zelda. When they head to the store together, she likes the convenience that reusable shopping bags provide. “Not only are reusable bags better for the environment, they’re easier for me to handle and carry.”

How does she remember to take her bags when she goes shopping? ”I just hang them by the front door after unpacking them, then take them out to the car when I think of it.” Pretty simple, right?

Heroes like Jane show that reusable bags can become a small habit that makes a big difference in the health of our bays and the Gulf.  Thanks Jane!


10 2017

Plastic Nurdles Found During Beach Cleanup

We found something surprising and disturbing at the Adopt-a-Beach cleanup on September 23rd: hundreds of “nurdles” amongst the shells, sticks and, of course, other pieces of plastic trash that were scattered along the high-tide line.

Nurdles are plastic pellets made at petrochemical factories that are later melted down and molded into all the plastic items of modern convenience. They sometimes escape from the factories through storm drains or are lost during transport to other factories and have spread through out the world’s oceans. Because of their small size and round shape, fish and birds often mistake them for fish eggs and eat them with harmful results.

In some places near Newport Pass on Mustang Island, volunteers counted more than 200 nurdles in a 1 square meter area of sand.  They were also observed along the high-tide line near Packery Channel and at Bob Hall Pier on North Padre Island.


10 2017

August Bag Heroes Encourage Residents to Skip the Plastic

Our Bag Heroes for August are the employees of Corpus Christi’s Stormwater Department, who manage the city’s storm drain system with 633 miles of piping and over 18,300 storm drain inlets. This system provides drainage when it rains but it’s not designed to treat the rainwater and everything it carries off the streets before the water flows into the bays.

Members of the department strive to inform the public about their role in preventing the introduction of trash, grass clippings, plastic bags and hazardous wastes into the inlets. One way they do so is by handing out educational materials and free reusable shopping bags at events around town.

Their message for everyone is: “City of Corpus Christi Stormwater encourages all citizens to skip the plastic and use reusable shopping bags to keep storm drains and local waterways clear of plastic bags!” We couldn’t agree more!


08 2017

Our July Bag Hero

Our July Bag Hero is Fred McCutchon – Corpus Christi native, attorney and surfer.  Fred is proud of his hometown and hopes that it can once again be worthy of the “Sparkling City by the Sea” moniker.  One way he helps is by remembering bring his reusable bags when he heads to the store.  Fred has summed his thoughts up in a poem:

Think of plastic and the blight
Of bags and bottles in our sight
Think of the waste in single-use
Of bags to buy a snack or juice
Pledge not to use what never rots
Grow natural beauty in your thoughts.


07 2017

New Marine Debris App from NOAA

NOAA has introduced a new mobile device app that lets you report marine debris (trash ranging from soda cans and plastic bags to derelict fishing gear and abandoned vessels) when and where you find it. Using this data, they can get a better idea of the extent, makeup and concentration of marine debris on our coast.  So get out there and start reporting!



05 2017

Email your State Rep to Support House Bill 3482

The good plastic bag bill, Texas House Bill 3482, will have a hearing next week in the House Urban Affairs committee. If the committee votes favorably on this bill, it will help protect the existing bag ban ordinances in ten Texas cities, as well as proposed ordinances in cities like Galveston and Corpus Christi.

Since pollution problems caused by bags vary from city to city, local governments should be able to solve these problems as they see fit. This year, we have the opportunity to clarify and re-affirm this right once and for all.

As a constituent, your voice matters. Please let your Texas Representative hear from you!



04 2017