Salt Lake cleanup

Volunteers help build one of the two rookery platforms built on day one of the clean up Friday, Feb. 8.

Keep Aransas County Beautiful, along with numerous volunteers, rolled up their sleeves and got to work with the restoration and clean up of Salt Lake Friday and Saturday, Feb. 8-9.

Salt Lake is yet another important area that was in dire need of help due to Hurricane Harvey. KACB stepped in and helped alleviate this issue with its clean up and restoration of the lake.

In the first week of February, KACB helped local Master Naturalist and Salt Lake resident, Vickie Wilson, bring her dream of healing Salt Lake to reality. With Wilson’s networking with the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program (CBBEP) Avian Biologists, they brought in two nesting platforms to replace those lost in Harvey. They also brought in seven nesting island ‘Do not enter from February to August’ signs to educate the public to stay clear of those sensitive areas.

For two days, despite the very cold and rainy conditions, county volunteer citizens and friends from as far away as Dallas showed up to help out. On Friday, 12 showed up to work on the rookeries and on Saturday, 14 came out to pick up debris off the island and shoreline. Altogether, volunteers picked up 1340 lbs. of garbage.

It was a group effort. During KACB’s planning of the event, Aransas County Commissioner – Precinct four Wendy Laubaugh was fully involved. She went out on an initial boat ride with KACB to assess the state of Salt Lake. She also donated to the event and helped pick up debris Saturday.

Local fishing guide Johan Coombs grew up on Salt Lake and has guided the area for years. He was able to give his understanding of the waters and the use of his bay boat to cart volunteers around.

Aransas County’s Mid-Coast Texas Master Naturalists came out to do rookery work and provided everyone with a sheet entitled, “The Birds of Salt Lake.” It reinforced the importance of the work as volunteers learned that four of the five bird species found in Salt Lake are in decline. The Aransas County Transfer Station was also present with assets and a willingness to be involved.

Salt Lake still needs more work, but it is looking better now. The event was a rewarding experience for all who braved the elements.

KACB isn’t done jus yet. From 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday, March 2, KACB will host another clean up at Holiday Beach. Check-in for the clean up will be off the boat ramp on Channelview Rd.

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