Volunteers needed for Gayman Bridge trash clean-up

HARLINGEN — Organizers are seeking volunteers for another clean-up session at the popular fishing site at Gayman Bridge on State Highway 48.

Richard Hitchcox, who formed the environmental action group, RGV Fishing Area and Waterway Cleanups, says this year’s clean-up is a return trip to the site.

“We’re going back to where we started when we weren’t even officially a group,” Hitchcox said. “We have a lot of interest in this one, and we should have a turnout better than the last one because we’ve picked up a lot of interest since then. A lot of fishing groups are interested in it.”

Since the first clean-up at the Carl “Joe” Gayman Bridge which links the Bahia Grande and the Brownsville Ship Channel, Hitchcox said his group has hauled out tons of trash from several fishing areas here in the Valley.

He said the Gayman clean-up on April 6 has been helped by major buy-in and sponsorship of the Port of Brownsville, which has donated significantly to the group’s efforts.

“We’re going to meet coming from Brownsville headed toward Port Isabel on Highways 48 and we’re going to meet on the right-hand side, the other side is federal,” he said. “We’re going to meet on the Port side because the Port is the one who is supporting us on everything.

“We’re going to clean up the other side although we don’t get any support or anything from the feds but we still clean up that side because people fish over there,” he added.

Hitchcox said his group will provide everything needed for cleaning trash from the site, including bags, gloves, sunscreen, insect repellent, water and more.

Hitchcox serves as managing director for the nonprofit RGV Fishing Area and Waterway Cleanups, which he says he started after fishing some popular Valley sites with his son and seeing the need to collect trash. He also is a member of the popular Valley Facebook group, Canal Fishin’ Junkies.

He accepts donations such as gift cards and service pledges, which will be raffled off to volunteers at the end of the day after the clean-up is finished.

If you go

WHAT — Fishing site cleanup

WHERE — Gaymans Bridge, State Highway 48, near Port Isabel

WHEN — April 6, 8 a.m.

WHO — RGV Fishing Area and Waterway Cleanups