Typical trash pile at Spencer’s

The Great Texas River Cleanup

aka The San Marcos River Clean Up
San Marcos River
37th Annual March 5, 2022


On Saturday, March 5, folks from all over Texas will be participating in the world’s longest river clean up. We will be picking up trash along most of the San Marcos River (approximately 60 miles).

The City of San Marcos will hold their portion of the cleanup, walking the banks of the watershed and the sections of river within the city limits. Those who would like to participate in the upper San Marcos portion of the annual clean up should visit: https://www.sanmarcostx.gov/3308/River-Clean-Ups and/or contact: AThomaides@sanmarcostx.gov

From San Marcos downstream (all the way to Luling – if we can) canoeists, kayakers and rafters will be cleaning the river and the banks.

The information from this point on refers to folks cleaning this downstream portion of the clean up.

WHITEWATER PADDLERS There are some sections of river that require whitewater skills. For those sections, only persons capable of handling a canoe full of trash in whitewater should volunteer. This is primarily for section 2, 7 and 8.

CANOE RACING ENTHUSIASTS Some sections of river, like Staples to Fentress and Stairtown to Luling have long stretches with few bridge crossings and for that reason, we are asking canoe racers (especially teams that have competed in the Texas Water Safari) to volunteer for those sections: sections 5, 7, 8 and 10.

FREE CAMPING
Everyone participating in this event is invited to camp free at either Shady Grove Campground/ Spencer Canoes (they are offering one free night of camping for volunteers) or at the San Marcos River Retreat Reservations required. For Shady Grove call: 512-357-6113. For the San Marcos River Retreat e-mail tomgoynes@mac.com or call: 512-787-5574

FREE BEER!
Every volunteer will receive a coupon for a free draft beer from Roughhouse Brewing in San Marcos! To qualify for a coupon, you need to register with one of our section leaders, by Thursday, March 3. Thanks to our sponsor, Roughhouse Brewing, 680 Oakwood Loop, San Marcos, Texas 78666
Tel: 512.667.7000, info@roughhousebrewing.com

FREE T-SHIRT!
Once again, to get a shirt, you have to register with a section leader (and give him or her your t-shirt size) by Thursday, March 3.

MEETING TIMES AND SHUTTLES Everyone is expected to contact the section leader for the stretch of river he or she intends to clean and reserve a pot on that team. Because of covid, we may have to limit the number of participants on any section. That leader will keep a list of volunteers and also make a note of folks who intend to receive a to-go plate of BBQ. The section leader will tell all the members in their group where they will meet on the morning of March 5. At that meeting, trash bags will be handed out and shuttles will be arranged.

PRE-REGISTRATION: IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT EVERYONE PARTICIPATING IN THIS EVENT PRE-REGISTER BY THURSDAY, MARCH 3 (ESPECIALLY IF YOU WANT A TO-GO MEAL AND/OR A T-SHIRT). YOU MUST CONTACT A SECTION LEADER TO PREREGISTER. AND YOU SHOULD LET THE LEADER KNOW IF YOU CHANGE YOUR PLANS AND CAN’T PARTICIPATE.

RIVER SECTION LISTINGS:

  1. Thompson’s Island to The San Marcos River Retreat (3.5 miles)
    This is an all day clean up, volunteers should plan on being on the river until about 4 p.m. Volunteers are guaranteed to experience trash jams that resemble the trash compactor (complete with monster) from the original Star Wars movie. This section of river is not recommended for the faint of heart. Section leader: The Eyes of the San Marcos River.
  2. San Marcos River Retreat to Sculls Crossing (4 miles). This is a whitewater section of river. If you don’t know what a draw is, don’t choose this section. Section leader: Grace Arianoutsos gracegreek@yahoo.com
  3. Sculls Crossing to Spencer Canoes (2 mi.) This section involves carrying your canoe around Martindale Dam. And a little bit of moving water from the dam to Spencer Canoes This section has been adopted by the San Marcos River Ranch
    katybrantley@gmail.com
  4. Spencer Canoes to Staples – Hwy 1977 (5 miles) This section is being cleaned by the Informal River Bureaucracy (aka Jeff Pine and friends) and they have enough volunteers.
  5. Staples to Fentress – Hwy 20 (9 miles) Section Leader: to be announced
  6. Fentress to Prairie Lea 1 (2miles) Some fast moving water; some trees in the river. Section Leader: Susan Eda susaneda@mac.com 713-203-2452
  7. Prairie Lea 1 to Stairtown (5 miles) Some fast moving water; some trees in the river. Section Leader: The Eyes of the San Marcos River
  8. Stairtown to Luling – Hwy 90 (6.5miles) Some fast moving water; some trees in the river. Section Leader: to be announced
  9. Hwy 90 to Zedler Dam (6 mi.) A TPWD paddling trail Some fast moving water; some trees in the river. Section Leader: Greater Houston Kayakers, Paddlesports & Outdoors – Kenny Sharpless kenny.sharpless@hotmail.com (281)222-4659
  10. Zedler Dam to Palmetto State Park (14.4 mi.) Long hard stretch for people with the Water Safari on their mind (in other words, for crazy people). Section Leader: to be announced.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: to the San Marcos River Retreat On google maps we show up as the “San Marcos Scout Camp”. Coming from Interstate 35 in San Marcos, get on Highway 80 and head toward Luling for 1.8 miles. Take a right on county road 101. Take an immediate left onto county road 102. Go 1/2 mile on 102 and take a right on Pecan Park road. Keep going straight (past TG Canoes and Kayaks) and the road will end at the San Marcos River Retreat office. For more info visit our website at San Marcos River Retreat Tom Goynes tomgoynes@mac.com

Stay Informed

Sign up below to receive our occasional newsletter that features the latest news on TRPA’s advocacy efforts, river-related events, cleanups, and more.