River Authority Launches New Trash Outreach Initiative to Engage Community in Cleaning Up Area Waterways
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) launched today the agency’s new outreach initiative called “Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River” at a news conference along the Mission Reach San Antonio River Walk where they were joined by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and City of San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg who lent their support to address the community-wide problem of trash and litter. San Antonio Spurs player and Team USA gold medalist Keldon Johnson joined as a special guest to announce the River Authority’s use of the Litterati app to increase public engagement and track the amount of trash that community members are picking up as part of the trash outreach initiative.
“Trash knows no boundaries, so it will take a unified approach of area governments and citizens coming together to clean up creeks and rivers,” said River Authority Board Chairman, Darrell T. Brownlow, Ph.D. “We are grateful for the support being offered by county and municipal officials from throughout Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties. Together, with engaged citizens, we can reach our goal of trash-free waterways and preserve and protect the San Antonio River Basin for future generations.”
The River Authority decided to create the “Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River” public outreach initiative to proactively address the threats to creeks and rivers from trash, floatable litter, and illegal dumping throughout the San Antonio River Basin. As part of this new trash initiative, the community will see TV spots as well as print, digital, social media, and out-of-home creative materials that will drive viewers to the River Authority’s website. The River Authority intends to use this new initiative to educate and encourage citizens throughout the basin to take a pledge to help keep area creeks and rivers clean by not littering and picking up trash when they see it on the ground, whether in their neighborhood or at area parks and parking lots.
“The River Authority picked up more than 151,000 pounds of trash last year, just along the Mission Reach,” said River Authority General Manager Derek Boese. “The San Antonio River Basin Report Card grade related to ‘public trash’ is an ‘F’ for the second year in a row. This illustrates the need for community engagement around the issue of litter and trash.”
The River Authority created the San Antonio River Basin Report Card to shine a light on the healthy and the unhealthy aspects of the basin to educate the public and serve as a catalyst for community discussions that lead to individual choices and public policy decisions, actions, and investments that support a sustainable San Antonio River Basin. The river basin report card is available on the River Authority’s website where the public can also visit the agency’s new trash initiative webpage. Citizens are encouraged to take the “Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River” pledge, get engaged by using the Litterait app, share their support for the trash initiative on social media, and become involved as a River Warrior volunteer or by organizing their own clean-up events. The Litterati app can be downloaded for free on any Apple or Android device. Once downloaded, the public can join the San Antonio River Authority Litterati Challenge and can begin taking pictures of litter on the app before picking it up, tagging the photo on the app, and properly discarding the trash. To learn more about the “Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River” outreach initiative and to take the pledge, visit the agency’s website: sariverauthority.org.