By ABBEY KUNKLE
Special to the PRESS
With summer getting into full swing, the Keep SPI Beautiful Committee (KSPIB) met last week for their regular monthly meeting. The committee discussed upcoming events and projects scheduled to beautify the Island and explored avenues to help educate the public on the importance of keeping our beaches clean.
First up for discussion was the option to participate in the City’s Coastal Days for 2016, which is an education program for children in the Rio Grande Valley. Coastal Resource and Parks Administrator Reuben Treviño along with help from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), and volunteers put on a program for the students of Garriga Elementary using games and fun activities to teach the children about coastal wildlife and protection of our resources. The first event was a success, and KSPIB Chair Susan Dalton encouraged the committee to participate as teaching kids at an early age about the importance of water safety and keeping the beach clean is extremely important to the future, she said. Committee members agreed to participate in 2016 and search for funding to expand the program across the Valley. The committee also plans to be a part of the next Cyclovia on October 31 of this year.
On top of education plans for next year, committee members agreed to volunteer this summer for the City’s Anti-litter Beach Program every Saturday until September. Members of KSPIB and other groups will promote the “Treasure it, Don’t Trash it” message from 11 a.m. to1 p.m. on Saturdays by educating beachgoers about the importance of keeping their trash off the beach. Members hope to see happy visitors as they leave the beach rather than walking away with fines due to littering. Environmental Health Director Victor Baldovinos said, “The more outreach, the more education, the cleaner our beaches will be, and that’s the point at the end of the day.”
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