‘Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River’ public outreach initiative is still going strong throughout the San Antonio River Basin

Reporting for cleanup duty. (: San Antonio River Authority)

A clean river is a happy river, and that’s been the goal for the “Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River” public outreach initiative.

The initiative was launched in September 2021, as part of the San Antonio River Authority’s commitment to safe, clean and enjoyable creeks and rivers.

The initiative was launched to to proactively address the threats to creeks and rivers from trash, floatable litter, and illegal dumping throughout the San Antonio River Basin.

Bexar County and the city of San Antonio also joined this initiative, to show a united front in addressing this community-wide issue.

Trash on the San Antonio River Walk Mission Reach following a rain event. (San Antonio River Authority.)

In 2020, River Authority also launched the San Antonio River Basin Report Card to measure the health of the basin, and to help the community make educated choices that support a sustainable San Antonio River Basin. The 2021 San Antonio River Basin report card’s grade for public trash collection is an F, which was also the grade for 2020.

Trash in area waterways poses a threat to wildlife habitats, and costs communities thousands of dollars to clean up. As a community in San Antonio, we can be a part of the solution.

‘Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River’ initiative

Motivated by this data, and to proactively address the threats to creeks and rivers from trash, the “Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River” initiative aims to educate the communities throughout the basin.

The most important part of the initiative is to encourage the public to help keep river and creek areas clean by not littering. That also means picking up trash when you see it on the ground, whether it’s trash in their neighborhood or around a river or creek.

How can the public get involved?

Folks cleaning up the rivers. (San Antonio River Authority.)

The simplest way to get involved is by helping pick up trash when you are out and about. If you see trash that’s not where it’s supposed to be, just pick it up.

Checking out the River Authority’s website is a great place for the public to learn all sorts of things, like certain actions and pledges to eliminate trash from the San Antonio River Basin, as well as a social media toolkit with content and graphics available for download. It’s a great tool if you want to learn more about the San Antonio River Basin.

There is also information on how individuals and community organizations can organize cleanup events, or join the River Authority River Warrior volunteer program to take part in events organized by the agency.

The River Authority has a new app called Litterati, where users can track the amount of trash that has been collected.

Since so many people have a smartphone, this app can be downloaded for free on any Apple or Android device. Plus, it’s easy to use. You can join the San Antonio River Authority Litterati Challenge once you download the app.

Here’s how it works: Take a pic of the litter via the app before you pick it up, then tag the photo on the app and make sure you discard the trash properly. It’s that easy.

To learn more about the Litterati app, click here.