Confetti concerns: How it’s impacting the San Marcos River

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SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – As the school year begins to wrap up on college campuses, many students are starting to celebrate their graduation. However, a current trend in the photography world may have a negative impact on the San Marcos River.

“Confetti toss” photos have become popular and many soon-to-be graduates are taking the idea, but leaving their trash. Colleen Cook works for the Texas State Environmental Office and says it has become a persistent problem on the Texas State campus. “Many students wish to take graduation photos around the Quad and Undergraduate Academic Center areas. However, it’s becoming more common to take confetti or glitter tossing pictures and oftentimes the glitter is left on the ground and washed into storm drains which lead straight to the San Marcos River,” says Cook.”They carry different toxins that don’t need to be consumed by humans or especially fish and the animals that reside in the San Marcos River,” said Cook.

Confetti can be found all around the Texas State University campus. Cook says the litter is left after students celebrate by throwing confetti in the air for a picture. It’s a problem she’s been battling for months. “It makes me kind of upset a little bit that they are not taking responsibility for their actions.”

On Saturday, a small group of students took matters into their own hands and installed markers near every drain. But to really make a change, Cook calls for everyone to do their part. “If you can just take two seconds of your time and sweep up the litter that you throw on the ground for your picture, it could save so many lives that live in the San Marcos river.”

More than a dozen threatened and endangered species live in the San Marcos River. Environmentalists want to remind the public that all storm drains in the city run to the river, not just the ones on campus.

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