BOCA CHICA, Texas (KVEO) –What started as a way to better enjoy a hobby has turned into a passion project to help the local community.
“I like to fish, I have a 17 year old son, we love to fish together,” said Richard Hitchcox, the director of RGV Fishing Area and Waterway Cleanup, “I was the founder of the organization back in 2018 because we were going to fishing places and they were dirty, so we decided ‘hey lets see what we can do to clean them up’.”
Tomorrow, Hitchcox and his group will host their first cleanup of Boca Chica Beach since the start of the pandemic, one that is sorely needed.
“I mean I don’t want to say the locals threw everything there because I don’t think they did,” said Hitchcox, “this is mostly from storm surge. Most of the trash that’s here got washed up with the two most recent storms we had.”
“The county comes along and sweeps the beach, but then all the seaweed with the trash goes up [to the dunes]. And my group is one of the ones that comes behind and we’ll pick that up.”
The goal of the beach cleanup is very simple: pick up the trash so it isn’t eaten by wildlife.
“You’ll see it, a lot of the plastic trash will have a little v shape bite mark in it. That’s where a sea turtle bit it,” said Hitchcox.
Hitchcox appreciates all of the local groups that have contributed to the cleanups.
He tells CBS 4 that local businesses and groups have donated needed items like bags and masks, as well as cash donations to buy water bottles for volunteers. And he’s thankful for help in any form.
“If somebody wants to come out we would appreciate them being here and helping, if anybody wants to contribute to the effort we appreciate that as well.”
And of course, Covid-19 precautions are still being taken.
“You’ve got ten miles of beach out here,” said Hitchcox, “that is plenty of space for people to be social distanced.”
The beach cleanup will be from nine a.m. until noon Saturday morning.