The annual Float Fest in San Marcos is long over. Cans and other garbage have been left behind floating in the river. A group of friends took some video that shows heaps of trash from months ago. They say the festival just added to the problem.
We're in the heat of tubing season, and with tubers, come trash. Just ask Tom Goynes who's lived here since 1972. “We found places where the cans were four feet deep,” he said.
Goynes and a group of his friends and a diver caught this footage along the San Marcos River, not too far from where he lives. He said aside from the trash, there's a lot of excess noise.
“We had 10,000 people on the Saturday of Float Fest but we had 7,000 on July 4th,” Goynes said.
Goynes says nearby tube rental companies are doing well cleaning the banks. They just are not getting deep into the water. “It accumulates. It's there,” he said.
Texas State Tubes and Don's Fish Camp released a statement that says, in part:
"As outfitters, we've committed to and engaged in a cooperative effort to fund and undertake a consistent, ongoing professional cleanup program using the same protocols and river clean up company used by the W.O.R.D. of Comal County. The contract we have with Pristine Texas Rivers includes weekly deep water dive cleanups, and we do almost daily top water cleanups on the river. "
“I think a lot of these kids would never throw cans in the river if they were sober. It's such a party atmosphere, by the time you get drunk you're not thinking,” Goynes said.
Goynes believes the state should consider an alcohol ban along the river. He also works as president of the Texas Rivers Protection Association. Once tubing season is over, he will work on organizing a large cleanup effort and will need volunteers. For him, it's a labor of love.
“You just can't help but love this river if you spend a lot of time in it,” Goynes said.