Piles of trash cleaned up at banks of San Antonio River

River Aid San Antonio hosts river clean ups

SAN ANTONIO – After the storm comes, a lot of trash follows. The rain has washed up mounds of trash and debris along the San Antonio River, affecting the water quality and wildlife.

To help solve the issue, the environmental conservation organization River Aid San Antonio teamed up with the San Antonio River Authority and Texas River Company Sunday morning for a major river clean-up.

Water bottles, pet waste, or even campaign signs, volunteers with the organization found piles of trash early on during the event.

“(Last week) we found a mattress, a big dumpster, trash dumpster, and we found a dead animal in an eye view of the trail,” Athena Santos said.

Unfortunately, it’s exactly what brought Santos out for another round of volunteering Sunday morning. The group’s project coordinator, Charlie Blank, said most of the time the trash pile-up is unintentional.

“We live on a gigantic watershed,” Blank said. “All this trash from around town (is from) the trash you leave on picnic tables (and) the trash you leave on your curb at home. It all ends up going into our storm drains, coming into our river.”

Sunday’s goal is to pick up as much trash as possible along the banks and even in the waters of the San Antonio River.

“There’s campaign signs floating down the river right now and we need kayaks to get those out. So, we’re lucky enough to be partnered with Texas River Company,” he said, adding that they provided 30 kayaks.

Although very much needed, Blank said it’s not just about cleaning up the trash on and near waterways.

“We need to create community cohesion. We’ve got to push a cultural shift,” Blank said. “We need… everyone paying attention to this problem and helping us address it.”

The next volunteer opportunity is slated for Saturday, June 5. The all-day “Down By The River” event will kick off with a clean-up and wrap-up with an environmental fair to educate the community at Confluence Park.

For more information on the event, click here.

To keep up with River Aid San Antonio, click here.

Read more:

About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.