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Rain washes more than water into Mission Reach portion of SA River

Loose trash on streets washed into storm drains resurfaces on river banks

SAN ANTONIO – Part of the appeal of the Mission Reach is to hike and bike in nature, but it's hard to get back to nature when piles of garbage are splashed against a footbridge or debris litters along the bank.

After four days of rain, trash reigned supreme Friday on the Mission Reach portion of the San Antonio River.

"It looks terrible. It really does," Jose Flores, who was leading a scooter tour, said. "It's sad to see, especially when you bring tourists out here - being so much of it."

The San Antonio River Authority keeps the Mission Reach clean, and it's proud of the work its crews and volunteers do.

But it can be an overwhelming job.

"We collect thousands of pounds of litter 20, 30, 40 tires every time it rains," Kristen Hansen, SARA watershed & park operations manager, said.

SARA had 24 crew and contract laborers cleaning up Friday and holds itself to an internal deadline to pick up all significant trash within 14 days after it rains.

"The problem is the litter is all over the road, and then it rains and it goes down the storm drains, and it ends up in the San Antonio River," Hansen said.

All that garbage makes a less than favorable impression.

Patrice Nadeau and Steve Trudeau were visiting the Mission Reach for the first time. The tourists from the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" weren't expecting a river of 10,000 styrofoamStyrofoam cups.

"We weren't expecting the garbage or the trash along here," Nadeau said.

The River Authority says one the best ways people can help keep the river clean is to secure their trash and recycle properly.

Flores agrees.

"As a community, more people need to, you know, take care of their own trash and take it out," he said.

SARA also needs volunteers to help clean up the river and is holding a cleanup the morning of March 19.

Click here for information on how to volunteer. 


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