The Party with a Purpose
TrashFest is the nation’s oldest underwater cleanup campaign bringing together scuba divers to improve the quality of the Comal River in New Braunfels, Texas. The Comal River became famous when Ripley’s Believe It or Not featured it as the shortest river in the world. The 2.5-mile Comal River is one of the largest springs in Texas with 8 million gallons of water flowing through every hour. The water is pure, clear, about 73° – 85°F year round, and attracts thousands of tubers and tourists each year. After the tubing season winds down, divers from all over Texas and beyond gather to pull cans, shoes, sunglasses and other assorted trash and debris out of the river.
Since the first clean up in 1974*, more than 10,800 volunteers have removed more than:
- 205,000 pounds of trash
- 310,000 cans and bottles
- 353,400 pop-tops and bottle caps
- 7,200 sunglasses and shoes
*The above numbers include data from 1980-2010. No records available prior to 1980.
While cleaning up the Comal is the events top priority, TrashFest also:
- Raises public awareness of the aquatic environment in Texas
- Educates citizens about the sources of, and impact of, debris and litter in the aquatic environment
- Promotes recycling programs and community involvement
- Serves as a model for other river and aquatic cleanup programs around the country
- Involves young children and educates them about the importance of protecting our environment