D'Ann Williams is the President of Keep Aransas County Beautiful. She was set to present at our Virtual KTB Conference on the Powerful Partnerships: Sustaining Local Educational Programs Panel, however due to weather complications, was unable to participate. On this blog, D'Ann is sharing her expertise in partnering with the Texas General Land Office to contribute to over 65,000 pounds of debris removed from their community!
Living on the Texas coast it is certainly not uncommon to see old boats, jet skis, sailboats, and more sitting dormant in yards with grass growing around them from years of non-use. What many may or may not know is that the Texas General Land Office has a program in place to help remedy the issue called the Vessel Turn-In Program. And it's FREE! All you need to do is pull your local agencies together to get the work done.
Corpus Christi Solid Waste Services holds this program at least once a year. After seeing a news story about their 3-day event, that our Executive Director Rosemary Pizio-White and I made the trek to visit with them, watch and learn. They were quite helpful in sharing documents, do's and don't's, and more.
While in Corpus Christi, we also met with citizens turning in old boats and most were relieved. One gentleman drug in a boat with NO TRAILER. One can only imagine what unsuspecting motorists thought of the spectacle if they did not know what was going on in the area. Some boats that came in had large trees growing through them.
Keep Aransas County Beautiful's first event was a huge success! The inaugural two-day event results were:
- 31 Vessels (24' and under)
- The boats measured 497 feet total - that is almost as tall as the Washington Monument
- 12 Boat Trailers
- 65,160 lbs. of debris removed from Aransas County area
- 13,720 lbs. of metals were sorted from the debris and recycled
- 130 Gallons of old fuel/oil and batteries were collected and properly disposed of keeping them away from our lands and waters
Partnerships you will need to get the work done:
- Texas General Land Office – Removed the fuel, oil, and batteries.
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Wardens - Checked each boat that came in for a title and to see if it was reported missing, etc.
- Aransas County Notary – Many boats are so old or on land that has been bought by someone else and did not have a title, so we had a notary on sight for them to sign a Surrender of Legal Rights form to Aransas County.
- Aransas County Transfer Station – Provided heavy machinery to remove engines, trailers, and boats to various dumpsters to get them disposed of where they needed to go.
- Keep Aransas County Beautiful – Provided project management and found a sponsor to underwrite the landfill costs. The sponsor was a very fitting one, our local Cove Harbor and Dry stack. Cove Harbor was hit by a category F4 tornado during hurricane Harvey and 400 boats were destroyed.
We would be happy to share all our planning documents and other tidbits like getting a Port-0-Can out.
For the best and easiest explanation, see this news video!
Blog Post Written By D'Ann Williams, President of Keep Aransas County Beautiful.