Galveston Island beachgoers to get biodegradable bags to combat littering problem

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The blue water Galveston recently experienced increased visitors, but with it, has come increased trash.

The Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees is working to remedy the problem.

Soon, more trash cans, crews, and biodegradable trash bags will be distributed to beachgoers.

"We'd use them if they had them," Joan Meyer said.

The park board of trustees will spend $5,000 on 100,000 bags.

Bags will be distributed at Stewart Beach, East Beach, and Dellanera RV Park.

The 75 new trash cans will cost $23,100.

"We've amped up our beach maintenance crews," Galveston Island CVB public affairs manager, Mary Beth Bassett said. "We've actually added a whole second crew that comes in the afternoon."

From mid-May through mid-June, attendance at five of Galveston's parks and beaches is up by 235,807 from this time last year.

A boost not just being felt in Galveston, but Jamaica Beach as well, where neighbors are also seeing an increase in trash.

"I've been here four years," Jamaica Beach resident, Kristen Dillmann said. "It seems to get progressively worse. But this year, it's just been nuts."

Dillmann said it's not uncommon to find chairs, bottles, and fast-food wrappers.

"It's heartbreaking because we live here," Dillmann said.

Dillmann says around a dozen volunteers spend upwards of three hours cleaning each Monday.

But it's getting harder to keep up.

"Angry to the point where we don't want to come down on the weekends, and we're residents here, because people aren't respecting our beaches," Dillmann said.

It's a problem officials say beachgoers need to fix, or else, the next time another blue wave comes through, it might be hard to see the beauty.

"The coastal environment is very fragile so any foreign object that would go into the water is a potential hazard for sea turtles, sea life, some of the sea birds," Bassett said.

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