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The Texas State Biology Field Crew

The San Marcos River is being well taken care of during the COVID-19 pandemic

By: Samantha Oesch

SAN MARCOS, Texas – The San Marcos River is a city staple with its beautiful looks and charm, but requires maintenance to stay healthy. With the help of Texas State University’s Biology Department, the river maintains its luster.

The Texas State University Biology Field Crew takes care of the river starting from Spring Lake all the way down to City Park under Hopkins Street Bridge. The crew consists of biology students who are willing to tread through water, remove invasive species and clean up debris.

Senior biology major Kevin Rubio works for the crew and oversees other students on his shifts.

“Little by little we remove invasive species, and eventually we come back and plant native plants,” Rubio said.

Rubio and the crew have found joy in this unconventional job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was the perfect job to have during the pandemic,” Rubio said. “I just come out here by myself.”

Heather Hinchliffe, sophomore aquatic biology major, started working for the crew this fall semester.

“I’ve been enjoying working here,” Hinchliffe said. “It goes with my schedule really well because I like when I wake up early, do this shift and then I’m awake for the rest of the day, so I can do my online schoolwork.”

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has closed down Sewell Park and multiple river access points, the city parks are open. Rubio and his crew still find trash and belongings all the time.

 “We find a lot of stuff right next to the Sewell bridge, so you can tell people toss stuff out of their cars. It’s annoying, but at least we’re there to clean it up. We also find a lot of old trash, like stuff from the 60’s and 70’s,” Rubio said. “One time I found a whole six-pack of IPAs in here, so sometimes the river giveth.”

To see a map of where the team works click here.

Click the play button to listen to a short chat with Kevin & Heather.

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