SPLASh, a Plastic Cleanup Effort Co-Founded by ABC, Selected as a 2023 Conservation Wrangler

SPLASh will receive tailored support over 12-18 months through Texan by Nature’s accelerator program.

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is pleased to announce that Texan by Nature has selected the Gulf Coast plastic cleanup program, SPLASh, as a 2023 Conservation Wrangler. ABC partnered with Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and Black Cat GIS to form Stopping Plastics and Litter Along Shorelines (SPLASh) in 2020, in order to address Texas' serious trash pollution problem and its negative impact on species like the Least Tern, Piping Plover, and Red Knot.

SPLASh hosted cleanups bring people together to help make a difference along the Texas Gulf Coast for the environment, birds, and local communities. Photo by American Bird Conservancy

“Our hope is that the Conservation Wrangler program will help us bring the urgent needs of wildlife and shorelines to a much bigger audience,” said Richard Gibbons, Gulf Conservation Program Manager for ABC. “We look forward to working with the Texan by Nature team to find new partners and develop engaging outreach materials to make our beaches and shorelines better places for people and wildlife.”

SPLASh aims to help spread awareness about the marine debris issues that Texas faces and works to organize cleanup events in the Houston Galveston area. So far, SPLASh and its volunteers have removed more than 30,000 lbs. of trash from beaches, bayous, and other waterways. SPLASh also provides marine debris educational programming for local schools by organizing field trip clean-up events and leading courses in schools.

The 2023 Conservation Wrangler program will enable SPLASh to expand this important work. Conservation Wrangler is an accelerator program that catalyzes the best Texan-led conservation projects occurring in the state, selecting projects that are science-based and solutions-oriented. 

Liz Virgil of the SPLASh team represents at a local event. Photo by American Bird Conservancy

The Texan by Nature team will work with the SPLASh team and other selected 2023 Conservation Wranglers, providing 12-18 months of tailored support in program management, strategic planning, marketing strategy, metrics capture and analysis (including the production of United Nations Sustainable Development Report Cards), professional content creation, and partnership development – whatever is needed to accelerate the project.

Texan by Nature will recognize the 2023 projects at the organization's annual Conservation Summit on November 7, 2023, in Dallas, TX at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. 

The full press release and list of winners can be found here.


American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.orgFacebookInstagram, and X/Twitter (@ABCbirds).

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