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As we celebrate Earth Day this year, it is a wonderful time to appreciate the unique environment Galveston Island has to offer for us to protect and for our recreation.
Earth Day was originally celebrated to highlight the need for environmental protection policy and stewardship in our daily lives in order to protect the planet we call home. As we celebrate Earth Day this year, it is a wonderful time to appreciate the unique environment Galveston Island has to offer for us to protect and for our recreation. I say protect first as it should be the first and foremost thought when we think about the natural landscape. And how better to instill stewardship in those you love than to enjoy a day in nature with them.
From the beach to the bay, the barrier island that is Galveston offers many different ecosystems which all play a key role in the island’s environment and all the life it supports and protects.
With so much to offer, the island is a great place to explore and enjoy. But how do the beaches always look so good? How is there trash left in the evening, but it’s gone by morning? I’ll tell you how!
The Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees Coastal Zone Management Department cleans the 32 miles of beach on the island of Galveston at a minimum of once a day during the off-season and twice a day during peak season. In the heat of July, crews empty 4,000 blue trash barrels a day and pick up the trash left behind by careless individuals and the debris that washes up on the shore. Talk about an undertaking! Even with the crews cleaning the trash regularly, and I mean 365 days a year, we have a hard time keeping up with the increase in the trash we have seen on the beaches in the last two years.
Luckily enough, we have a wonderful community of local environmental organizations and goodhearted individuals who help by organizing beach clean-ups with people from all over Texas. Not only are these organizations hosting clean-ups, but they are also tracking the amount picked up in the clean-ups and reporting what they see. Being able to have metrics to measure by is always helpful when analyzing a problem. Locals and visitors, everyone is lending a hand to ensure the trash does not end up in the water, buried in the sand, or in the stomach of the wildlife that call the island and surrounding waters home. To see people taking time out of their day to help the island out is a wonderful thing to witness.
Earth Day is every day. We have one planet to preserve and protect for further generations to inhabit and enjoy. Take a moment each day and make the world a better place by picking up any litter you see throughout your day. Start small with a goal of picking up and throwing away 5 pieces of trash a day. Every little action makes a world of a difference. Once 5 pieces of trash a day becomes too easy, challenge yourself! Raise the number! Soon others will notice you take the extra step to pick up the trash you see. You never know who you will inspire.
If you are looking for a way to celebrate Earth Day on the island, I encourage you to venture out to Seawolf Park to see the art installation inspired by the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Award-winning artist Eepi Chadd has found a unique and inspiring way to highlight the sanctuary that is vibrant with life and close to home. There will be an opening reception and celebration of Earth Day on Saturday, April 23, at 4 pm at Seawolf Park. I hope you take a chance to see the art installation before it ends its term at Seawolf on June 10, 2022.
Happy Earth Day! May you consciously celebrate the wonderful planet we live on with those you love.