HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (KVEO) — If you take a walk around La Sal Del Rey, you’re immediately greeted with trash. Visitors have left empty bottles, beer cans, shoes, socks, and even masks and gloves.
Social media posts from last week by the non-profit organization, Friends of the Wildlife Corridor, show trash littered at the refuge.
La Sal Del Rey is one of only three naturally occurring salt lakes in South Texas. It is located about 45 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the east, and about 35 miles north Pharr, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The lake recognized as a national historic site and is part of the Rio Grande Valley’s Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is under the protection of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Officials with the refuge say they have been unable to keep the refuge as clean as they normally do because COVID-19 has forced them into working from home after employees tested positive for the virus.
Refuge Manager Bryan Winton says the trash is everywhere from the entrance, trails and around the lake, but clean up efforts are on the way.
Friends of the Wildlife Corridor is working on creating small volunteer groups to help clean up the trash. Winton says they work closely with the organization on fundraising and restoration projects.
If you would like to know more about the cleanup efforts, you can contact Friends of the Wildlife Corridor on their Facebook page.