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  • Chris Belcher

RASA Volunteers Clean the Headwaters

River Aid San Antonio volunteers met early Sunday morning to clean up trash from Olmos Creek in the Headwaters at Incarnate Word.

Approximately forty volunteers waded and worked their way along the steep banks of Olmos Creek to pick up the litter along the banks and in the water. They helped to remove plastic water bottles, pieces of Styrofoam, and other litter.

“The trash is a very serious problem, it’s heartbreaking to see it,” Danny Ingram, a Headwaters at Infinite Word volunteer trail monitor, said. “Everyone should see this and know that here in San Antonio we have this natural creek and it’s totally overflowed with trash.”

The 2021 San Antonio River Basin Report Card gives the river basin an F for Public Trash. The San Antonio River Authority looks at twelve categories when developing the report card for the river. The overall grade was a B.

Charles Blank, Executive President, RASA, talked about the fabled trash island.

Blank said, “I am standing here on the fabled trash island which I’ve been hearing about for months. The creek has finally dried up and revealed that it was not a fable. It’s here, it’s San Antonio’s problem.”

He also listed some of the items that could be seen floating on the surface of Olmos Creek.

“We got everything from soccer ball to your main culprit always, Styrofoam. This is just a mass of broken Styrofoam, coke bottles, plastic bottles, and it looks like you could walk on it but don’t be fooled. This is one of our waterways that is being destroyed by trash, our trash,” he said.

Ingram talked about why it’s important to get the trash out of the creek.

“Olmos Creek runs right into the San Antonio River. So, every bit of trash that collects here in Olmos Creek is eventually going to find it’s way into the San Antonio River and after that it will end up in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Ingram.

The volunteers made a dent in the trash on Olmos Creek but there’s more work to be done. RASA and other volunteer organizations can use your help to make a difference in the amount of trash. You can find volunteer opportunities by following RASA on Facebook,, or Instagram,

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