Video of the San Marcos River shot by Fred Mynar just after Memorial Day weekend, shows the river littered with beer cans. “We find literally tons of cans on the bottom of the river,” said Tom Goynes, president of the Texas Rivers Protection Association.
Goynes lives along the river. He often rents his property out to church groups and camps.
However, he says this time of year, the river is no longer family friendly, and trash piles up on the banks, and underwater. “The young people today, simply are not keeping up with their cans, they're throwing them out with wild abandon,” said Goynes.
Float Fest is coming in July, and this year, they've upped their capacity to 20,000 people.
“Another 10,000 people, I don't know where they think they're going to put them,” said Goynes.
Goynes says a can ban could maybe keep the problem from happening in the first place. “It's not working, we're not keeping up with the trash. Drinking out of a reusable floating container, that would be legal, we can try that,” said Goynes.
He's not alone. Jack Fairchild lives along the river, and has been fighting to ban the cans for years. New Braunfels, just down the road, has already banned them. Fairchild says with the amount of tube rentals popping up, he is afraid the party and the trash will reach his property pretty soon. “Another one was added, another was added, and they keep moving downstream. We think sooner or later if we don't do something we're going to have thousands of people going down our river raising hell,” said Fairchild.
Goynes said the drinking needs to be done more responsibly, and officials should enforce some kind of regard for nature.
“Banning alcohol, you can't do that, but they won't take ownership of the party. I would love for the state of Texas to say that's our property, we're going to make it better, and family friendly again."