Spring Break’s Impact on Texas Beaches

Every Spring Break, college students flock to popular beaches such as South Padre Island, Panama City Beach, Miami Beach or Cabo San Lucas to party and enjoy themselves. However, at the end of the week, these students often leave behind empty beer cans, liquor bottles, cigarettes, trash which damage the beaches and marine life.

Some cities have already begun clean-up initiatives to keep the litter to a minimum, or have banned alcohol during spring break season to reduce alcoholic beverage containers from trashing their beaches but this is still a huge issue. In addition, students often participate in drug and alcohol related activities.

All this is problematic because these activities affect many different things. On a human level, we find that all this activity affects the locals who call the beach area their home. The littering and drug and alcohol related activities lead to a degradation of the environment that these people call home. Visually, the beach looks extremely unappealing when it is strewn with litter. However, it also poses a safety issue because people’s feet could get cut if they accidentally step on broken glass or any other sharp pieces of garbage.

Animals are also affected by the litter. When the litter is washed into the oceans, animals often mistake garbage for food and can sometimes trap themselves in the trash as well. This can sometimes lead to deformities which can hurt the animal and lead to its eventual demise. To add to this issue, since much of the garbage does not decompose for decades, centuries and even a millennium, it remains in the ocean. Currently, scientists are starting to find islands that are uninhabited by any humans, with shores that are filled with trash. The currents brought litter from the beaches all over to these uninhabited areas, bringing our mess even to places where we’ve left “untouched”.

It is important to note that the main issue is that beach-goers are not cleaning up after themselves. If everyone were to make sure that no trash was left behind, this situation would be significantly better. Hence, it is important to remember that you can easily protect the environment and animals by dealing with your mess responsibly.

Article by: Sherlyn Ong