This Fiesta, give the river a helping hand!

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A hand reaches down to the ground to pick up a styrofoam cup.

Last Updated on January 30, 2024

One of the San Antonio River Authority’s (River Authority) long-term goals is to achieve trash-free waters in the San Antonio River Basin. As part of our commitment to safe, clean, and enjoyable creeks and rivers, the River Authority launched the San Antonio River Basin Report Card in 2020 to measure the basin’s health and help the community make educated choices that support a sustainable San Antonio River Basin. The San Antonio River Basin Report Card’s grade for public trash collection is currently an F.

One way to achieve this trash-free goal, the River Authority officially launched a new trash outreach initiative, “Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River,” on September 24, 2021. This effort was joined by Bexar County, the City of San Antonio, the San Antonio River Foundation, and Keldon Johnson with the San Antonio SPURS to show a united front in addressing this community-wide issue.

From left to right: Hall of Fame inductee Manu Ginobili, River Authority General Manager Derek Boese, and Spurs team players Tre Jones, Dominick Barlow spent a day picking up litter along the Mission Reach.

The “Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River” initiative intends to educate the communities throughout the basin and encourage the public to take part in helping keep area creeks and rivers clean by not littering and by picking up trash when they see it on the ground. Celebrating the holidays or headed to Fiesta® San Antonio this year? Ensure you do your part to reduce your impact when celebrating with your friends and family!

5 Ways to Reduce Litter During Fiesta®

  • Bring trash bags to your next outdoor gathering or picnic.
  • Tie down any tents, chairs, or decorations to prevent them from becoming litter in our river.
  • Use reusable utensils and containers when picnicking or grilling out at the park.
  • Bring your reusable water bottle and fill it up at the drinking fountain.

Don’t leave items behind! Celebrate with Fiesta Medals and goodies you can take home and re-use.

Confetti and plastic garbage litters the ground.

What’s wrong with this picture?

If you’re like most San Antonians, you love celebrating with cascarones. Unfortunately, many store-bought eggs are filled with plastic glitter that can end up in our precious waterways and harm wildlife. Consider making these wildlife-friendly cascarones instead, or watch the video below to learn how to create ones that use birdseed! That’s a win-win for wildlife.


Here are 3 more ways to help our creeks and rivers!

River Warrior Volunteers cheer after a successful river clean up event


  1. Become a River Warrior
  2. Take the Trash Pledge
  3. Use our Social Media tool kit to share your efforts!

Are you an educator? Download our free lesson plans and resources to inspire stewardship in the classroom. Together we can make a better tomorrow.

Luther Burbank High School students participate in a litter pickup during a field trip at Confluence Park.

Trash knows no boundaries. To take a collaborative approach in addressing this issue, the River Authority is also working with government partners throughout the agency’s four-county (Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, Goliad) jurisdiction to effectively reach the general public. These efforts will align with the already established free household hazardous waste collection events in Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties.

Two workers sort through old paint cans during hazardous household waste collection event

These events help prevent illegal dumping and, in conjunction with the trash outreach initiative, will continue to educate the public on proper ways to dispose of trash.

Our River needs a helping hand, so Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River!


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