The Manadas Creek and Wetland Restoration Project is a large-scale project that was proposed by Art Smith, a St. Augustine High School instructor. The idea was for St. Augustine students to be involved in the cleanup of a local area green space, in order to fully realize the tremendous impact that pollution and litter can have on an ecosystem.
Manadas Creek is located in North Laredo and has been the unfortunate victim of a large amount of trash, mostly originating from the various retail establishments located at North Creek Plaza. Originally, the project was organized as a year-long endeavor that would involve St. Augustine students exclusively. However, due to the difficulty of the cleanup and the astonishing amount of debris and litter, the project was later opened to the general public and is now scheduled to continue on a long-term basis.
Thank you to all RGISC volunteers and local organizations who were involved in the first year of this ambitious project! Special thanks go out to Dr. Tom Vaughan, RGISC Board Member, for being present at all of the monthly cleanups and for providing much-needed guidance to the students as they conducted this strenuous, grueling work.
For a chronicle of the cleanup, please see the photos and captions below.
NOVEMBER 11, 2015:And so our Manadas Creek & Wetland Restoration Project begins. Students got out there with Dr. Tom Vaughan and made observations to grasp the scale of this challenging and long-term project. Bravo to these students from St. Augustine High School's Environmental Science AP class, and their instructor Art Smith, and to Jerry O'Bryant for his support.
DECEMBER 21, 2015:Working at the Manadas Creek wetland this past Saturday with students from St. Augustine HS and several volunteers. This is a yearlong restoration project organized by the Rio Grande International Study Center. Next big cleanup will be on Saturday, January 23, and will be open to the public. See you then!!
JANUARY 23, 2016: Volunteers working to get a shopping cart free of debris. Recovering a shopping cart from a creek is not as easy as just lifting and dragging it out. Most of the carts were deeply entrenched in mud and were actually being integrated into root systems. So, the first step was clearing the cart of all the mud and roots inside. Only then was it possible to hook the cart up to a winch and pull it out with a Jeep.
JANUARY 28, 2016: The pictures directly above and below this caption show the state of Manadas creek at the beginning of 2016. Despite having held three cleanups, there was still a substantial amount of debris, litter, and shopping carts in the area.
FEBRUARY 13, 2016: Thank you to all of the organizations that helped out during our monthly Manadas Wetland Restoration Project: St. Augustine High School Environmental Science AP class, LBJ High School ROTC, Martin High School ROTC, T.A.M.I.U., and Nixon High School ROTC.
MARCH 19, 2016: A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who helped out today! J.W. Nixon High School ROTC, St. Augustine, United ROTC, and TAMIU service learning program.
APRIL 16, 2016: Amazing group of volunteers today at the Manadas Wetland Restoration Project. Border Patrol Explorers North Laredo 1987, TAMIU Tri Beta Biological Society, St. Augustine Environmental AP, UHS Environmental Club, and TAMIU.
APRIL 23, 2016: St. Augustine High School students participating in our Earth Day 2016 event at Lake Casa Blanca! RGISC was so excited when we learned that these St. Aug students were available to join us at our Earth Day event as part of our Eco-Station booths. They shared their experiences with the general public about their year-long project and imparted the lessons they learned about litter and its tremendous impact on the local ecosystem.
Rio Grande International Study Center 1 West End Washington St. Bldg P-11, Laredo, Texas