22nd Annual Big Shell Cleanup Wrap up from Captain Billy Sandifer

By Tyler Thorsen

22nd Annual Big Shell Cleanup Wrap up from Captain Billy Sandifer

On 25 Feb., 2017, we completed the 22nd. Annual Big Shell Beach Cleanup.  We were very blessed and very lucky.  Very blessed to have so many wonderful, hardworking volunteers and sponsors and lucky that the strong Northeast winds did not push water completely up to the sand dunes making it impossible for us to travel on the beach.  We did have to modify the work area we covered during the event due to higher than normal tide levels.  We cleaned 18 miles of beach from the 5 to the 23 mile beach rather than being able to work all the way down to the 30 mile beach; which we try to include in the work area every year.  This was due to high water and the fact that there was a very narrow stretch of beach at the 24 mile that we feared might trap volunteers as the tide level rose during the day.  We broke last year’s record all time number of volunteers with an amazing 750 volunteers this year.  50 tons of trash was bagged and removed from the beach including over 12 tons of plastic trash destined to be recycled.  This was our first ever attempt to recycle any of the trash and it went amazingly well. Hopefully we will be able to continue and maybe even enlarge the recycle effort during future events.  The hardworking and dedicated members of the board of the Friends of Padre have got the organization and the kickoff of the event in the Malaquite parking lot down to a science and I’m proud of them and they should be proud of themselves.  In the early years of this event we could never have handled the large numbers of volunteers we have had in this and last year’s event.  I heard several people mention during the event that it would really be awesome to get one thousand volunteers at an event and if the current trend continues that is a possibility and it is manageable.  The event remains something of a family homecoming for me as I get to see many friends that I have known for many years and who have attended any number of cleanups.  And it is always great to see so many children and families working together to help keep our beaches trash free. We would be lost without the support of Mr. Leon McNinch and the Ruth Parr Sparks Foundation and Curtis Mai and Sharkathon.  CITGO brought 36 volunteers to the event lead by Mr. Lindsey Shows and their participation is greatly appreciated.  Scott and Brian McKinsey went above and beyond with their efforts including acting as our repair/rescue truck.  West Oso I.S.D. had many students including their Navy Jr. ROTC group.  A big thanks to Rollin and Norma Hyatt of Woodstock Tree Trimming.  Other wonderful sponsors included Daniel Dain of Domino’s Pizza, Corpus Christi Chapter of the CCA, Michael Lawkowski Sr. and Jr. of Trac-work Inc. Railroad Maintenance of San Antonio, Stephen and Donna Gregory, David Webb, the Texas State Aquarium, Value Bank, NuStar, Graf Plumbing, the Coastal Bend Audubon Society, H. E. B., Federal Iron, Padre Island National Seashore personnel and Ben Beaty.  Without getting the word out this event would never happen and we are extremely appreciative of David Sikes and the Caller Times, KRIS T. V., KKTX News Radio, Everett and Pam Johnson and Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, the Padre Island Moon, the Salty Angler and Corpusfishing.com for doing such a great job of this. This year’s cleanup bring the overall totals for the event to 7,350 volunteers removing 2,556,000 pounds of trash removed from the beach of the Padre Island National Seashore.  YOU ARE, AS ALWAYS, MY HEROES. Billy Sandifer 






1 comment

  • Did my first beach clean up, Can’t wait for next year now!

    Colleen on

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