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Districts band together to protect Sabine Pass

Adopt-A-Beach cleanup brings hundreds to McFaddin, Sea Rim

SABINE PASS — A trail of yellow school buses dotting Texas 87 early Saturday served as a beacon for hundreds of Southeast Texans looking for a rewarding beach day.

The 2015 Adopt-A-Beach fall cleanup kicked off to large crowds in Sabine Pass Saturday, with more than 500 people at McFaddin Beach alone. Mark Guzman, Adopt-A-Beach site coordinator for McFaddin Beach, said the support from local school districts and Lamar University students was “incredible” this year.

“We have 50 students from three Nederland Independent School District schools here, and we’ve met students from just about every area district,” Rebecca McMains, Central Middle School Kiwanis Builders Club advisor, said. “Our students have been working with kids from Orange, Beaumont, Port Neches and Groves.

“It’s so uplifting to see all these different service organizations coming together to clean up and protect our beaches. It’s not just for schools, though — we’ve seen big company groups and families, too. It’s just a great event for the whole community to come help out.”

Site Coordinator Mike Guzman, left, and Media Coordinator Vickie Cleveland pack up the registration and information booth toward the tail end of the Adopt-A-Beach fall cleanup Saturday morning at McFaddin Beach in Sabine Pass.

Site Coordinator Mike Guzman, left, and Media Coordinator Vickie Cleveland pack up the registration and information booth toward the tail end of the Adopt-A-Beach fall cleanup Saturday morning at McFaddin Beach in Sabine Pass.

Vickie Cleveland, Adopt-A-Beach media coordinator, said McFaddin Beach was a popular site for volunteers this year.

“We had at least 300 people here before we even started,” Cleveland said, laughing. “Sempra LNG is one of our big sponsors today, and they sent a huge group this morning. I think a lot of them brought their families to help pick up trash this morning before spending the afternoon at the beach.

“All Adopt-A-Beach events are completely volunteer driven, and we’re always blown away by the volunteers we get in Sabine Pass. We have people here of all ages — I met an 82-year-old woman picking up trash earlier — and they’re coming as small family units and as large groups.”

“This is our 29th year, and the only thing you can ever predict is the people,” Guzman added. “One year we were rained out — couldn’t even set up on the beach. We had to put the registration booth and all the equipment on the side of the road. And over 500 people showed up in rubber boots and waders and ponchos, ready to clean up the beach and remove some harmful debris.”

Site Coordinator Mike Guzman encouraged volunteers to review the Marine Debris Timeline to stay motivated during the Adopt-A-Beach fall cleanup Saturday morning at McFaddin Beach in Sabine Pass.

Site Coordinator Mike Guzman encouraged volunteers to review the Marine Debris Timeline to stay motivated during the Adopt-A-Beach fall cleanup Saturday morning at McFaddin Beach in Sabine Pass.

The Texas General Land Office reports thousands of Adopt-A-Beach volunteers remove an average of 500 tons of trash each year from the Texas coast.

Since 1986, the GLO website states, more than 476,000 volunteers have removed 9,000 tons — more than 17 million pounds — of trash from Texas beaches and estuaries.

For more information about the Adopt-A-Beach program, visit www.texasadoptabeach.org.

Twitter: @crhenderson90