A Call To Arms!
By Tyler Thorsen
Friends of Padre, PINS Staff and Nueces County Coastal Parks are working overtime to get the road cleared out for the Billy Sandifer Big Shell Beach Cleanup. That's true dedication. Thanks to Friends of Padre Board members, Jeff Wolda, Cody Moravits, and Kevin Eager who camped alongside the Front end loaders so that they could stay in the work area near Big Shell.
The 2019 Billy Sandifer Big Shell Cleanup will be held Saturday February 23rd at the Padre Island National Seashore. Volunteers will meet at the Malaquite Visitor’s Center no later than 8am. The normal park admission fee will be waived for cleanup volunteers. Volunteers can expect to be back at the Visitor’s Center Parking lot no later than 2pm.
Volunteers with four-wheel-drive vehicles are and have always been the backbone of this event. However, those without four-wheel-drive are welcome and will be transported down the beach as space becomes available in four-wheel-drive vehicles. Volunteers with four-wheel-drive vehicles willing to accept riders should notify team leaders during registration. Trailers for hauling trash are much needed but must be in good condition due to the rough terrain.
Volunteers are advised to check weather forecasts and dress appropriately as the event has historically included some rather adverse weather conditions. Long trousers, long sleeved shirts, windbreaker jackets or slicker tops, suitable headwear and sturdy work shoes are recommended. Boards with rusty nails can and should be expected under piles of dead sargassum so sandals and bare feet are not recommended.
Food will be available at the Malaquite Pavilion at the conclusion of the event with Corpus Christi Area Domino’s Pizza and the CCA Corpus Christi Chapter Wienerschnitzel Wagon. Drinking water and light snacks will be available in the work area but feel free to bring something to eat during the event if you feel it necessary.
Volunteers will receive those wonderful Augsart commemorative Coyote Design T-shirts while supplies last. And this year for the very first time we are honored to offer up to 1200 volunteers Yeti Rambler Tumblers in various sizes. Thanks from our first time sponsor, Yeti, one of the most respected outdoor manufacturers in the world. Thanks to our friend and fellow cleanup volunteer, Kurt Obersteller, who works at Yeti for bringing this new partner to our event.
And to our largest and long time supporter, Mr. Leon McNinch of the Ruth Parr Sparks Foundation of Alice, TX , we thank you for letting us continue our mission dedicated to the preservation and betterment of North Padre Island and the people and wildlife that call it home.
Brother Curtis Mai and the Sharkathon event have been one of our biggest supporters and friends for years as have our partners in conservation at the Corpus Christi Chapter of CCA.
Michael Laskowski Sr. and Jr. of Trac-Work Inc. has been our glove supplier for over decade. Brian McKinsey is our Support Leader and Vehicle “Puller Outer” down island. In addition to that role, Brian has personally bought ads in various publications and has purchased billboard space this month along South Padre Island Drive and I-37 in Corpus Christi to publicize this event. Thanks to Everett Johnson aka “Yank” for all of the support from Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine. The Padre Island Moon, HEB, Value Bank, The Texas State Aquarium, Saltwater Angler, Corpusfishing.com, Graf Plumbing, 1360 KKTX and K99, The Bait Bucket, Gambler Specialties, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Stephen and Donna Gregory, Federal Steel, Coastal Bend Audubon Society, Padre Island National Seashore and the Matt Eckstrom Family. Thanks to the City of Corpus Christi for providing recycling for our recyclable plastic from the beach.
“Life’s a hoot! Get you some of it!” See you on Saturday February 23rd 2019!