Discover Your Island

Environmental Literature Class Removes 500 Pounds of Trash from Oso Bay

May 08, 2015


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. David Wallace, his students, and several faculty members of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi spent much of Saturday, May 2, cleaning up the Oso Bay for a service learning project.  Wallace, Professional Assistant Professor in the Department of English, involved students in his sophomore literature class titled “By Land, Sea, and Air: An Introduction to Environmental Literature.”  The group was able to remove roughly 500 pounds of trash and debris from the bay.

“The clean-up was organized by my students as part of a class-wide service learning project.  Their goal, and my goal too, was to make connections between the texts we were reading in class and real world environmental degradation,” said Wallace.

Wallace required his students to participate in three modules of service: observation, research, and activism. Throughout the semester, the students spent time observing the bay, and doing research on it.  Through the beach cleanup, students were able to fulfill the activism module.

Students and faculty found everything from clothing, old wood pallets, tires, two complete pairs of shoes, and aluminum trash in the bay.

“The goal of the cleanup was to allow students to see that literature has concrete references and is meant to be read as a product of culture, and not as something completely separate from life outside the classroom,” stated Wallace.

Wallace’s students also held a bake sale and art sale, and were able to raise $75 to donate to the Coastal Bays and Estuaries Foundation.