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George P Bush and Mayor Patel

Adopt-A-Beach Program’s Spring Beach Clean-up

The Texas General Land Office has been sending this message across the state for twenty-eight years, and Texans have responded.

Since the first cleanup in 1986, more than 489,000 Texas Adopt-A-Beach volunteers have picked up more than 9,200 tons of trash from Texas beaches, some of it originating from as far away as South America.

Due to tide patterns in the Gulf of Mexico, trash dumped anywhere in the gulf is likely to end up on a Texas beach. Volunteers record information such as the source and type of debris collected on data cards. This data has been instrumental in the passage of international treaties and laws aimed at reducing the amount of offshore dumping.

Keeping Texas beaches clean and safe is an economic as well as environmental priority. Coastal tourism, a $7 billion industry, and commercial fishing, a $1.9 billion business, demand clean beaches and a healthy gulf to thrive.

The program strives to:

  • raise public awareness;
  • educate citizens about the source of debris; and
  • generate public support for state, national and international action to clean up coastal waters.

The Texas Adopt-A-Beach program, an all-volunteer effort, is dedicated to preserving and protecting Texas beaches. The program’s success is due to the generous efforts of dedicated volunteer county coordinators, coastal community leaders, sponsors and citizens. Strong support from the private sector helps carry our message to Texans all across the state.

This year was was great to be with hundreds of volunteers on our beach for the 30th Anniversary of the Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Program‘s Spring Beach Clean-up! Special thanks to George P. Bush and the Texas General Land Office for all of their help and support. ‪#‎SPI‬

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Beach Re-Nourishment Under Way on SPI

Working in partnership with the Texas General Land Office and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the City of South Padre Island  in undergoing a beach renourishment project using beach-quality sand harvested from the Brazos Island Harbor Jetty and Entrance channels in South Texas dredging project.

Not only is this the largest beach nourishment project undertaken on South Padre, adding more sand to our beach helps the city better protect our coastal resources and the residential and commercial properties located on the Gulf Coast. The Corps is expected to pump approximately 651,000 cubic yards of dredged material originating from the Brownsville Harbor navigation channel to renourish approximately three quarters of a mile of our beautiful coastal beach with an estimated completion date of February 2016.

Keep up on the progress of our beach re-nourishment effort here, or visit our Vimeo album:


Cultures intertwine at Indian festival


McALLEN — More than 300 people attended the Enchanting India Festival on Sunday as part of the International Museum of Arts and Science’s cultural series aimed at educating and highlighting the different traditions found in the Rio Grande Valley.

Those who attended the festival enjoyed traditional dancing, art, food and other cultural activities from the South Asian country.

“The Indian culture is one of the oldest cultures in the world,” said Hari Namboodiri, president of the India Association of the Rio Grande Valley. “This is a great way for us to showcase the colors, smells and sounds of our beautiful heritage.”

Namboodiri said they’ve always done festivals like this but this is the second year they teamed up with IMAS to open it up to a larger audience. The association began with about 12 families of Indian descent in the early 1990s and now has more than 700 families from Laredo to Brownsville.

At the event, Uma Puri, of Edinburg, welcomed women and girls of all ages to try on the customary saree, a 5-meter-long cloth that is wrapped around the body to form a dress.

A saree can cost anywhere from $150 to $2,000 depending on the thread and jewels used to adorn the dress. Next to the sarees, men could try on a traditional turban hat worn by men in India and throughout the Middle East.

Samantha Carrizal, 17, and her mother Diana Gonzalez, 47, both stood in line to have their picture taken wearing elaborate silk sarees. They trace their roots to the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi but said they love attending events hosted by the Indian society and drawing those connections between both cultures.

“Here you get to really experience the culture and realize that the food is similar to ours and the family values are much like ours,” said Gonzalez, a nurse from Pharr. “We have been attending their events for years and they are very receptive of our culture, it is really nice to see that.”

South Padre Island Mayor Bharat “Barry” Patel, the first Indian mayor in Texas after being elected in November, also attended the event.

“I feel like this is a time where there is a fusion of the cultures in the Rio Grande Valley,” Patel said. “We are seeing people from all over the world actually, but many families are from India.”