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Recent Storms Have Washed Heaps Of Garbage Into The San Antonio River

Mission Reach Cleanup_05 10 2021.jpg
San Antonio River Authority
The Watershed and Park Operations team cleans up trash along the Mission Reach segment of the River Walk.

Flood runoff from recent thunderstorms has washed a significant amount of trash downstream to the Mission Reach segment of the San Antonio River. The San Antonio River Authority oversees a two-week cleanup after big storms, but this cleanup may take three weeks.

Yvi Serbones-Hernandez, a public communications coordinator for the River Authority, said the cleanup operation has picked up 17,000 pounds of trash so far, including 30 tires. She said some forms of trash can harm wildlife.

"Our watershed and park operations staff, which are responsible for maintaining the Mission Reach segment has seen birds trying to Styrofoam. They've also seen plastic bags wrapped around a bird's neck," said Serbones-Hernandez.

Other trash and debris picked up in the past have included larger items.

"Unusual items that our watershed staff has seen washup include ice chests, highway signs typically found in trees, clothing, shoes, basketballs, footballs, bicycles," she said.

The Mission Reach of the river is on San Antonio's far South Side near the city's historic missions. It includes hike and bike trails, outdoor pavilions for picnics, canoe and kayak rentals, water features, and restored native vegetation.

The River Authority accepts volunteers for cleanups through its River Warriors program.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian