South Padre Island has some good news about its beaches as visitors trickle down to the area for spring break.
The Texas Beach Watch Division of the Texas General Land Office has named South Padre Island the cleanest beach in the entire state. The announcement comes after recent fecal bacteria testing.
"Beaches in Cameron County are the cleanest in the state based on the data we've collected," said Craig Davis with the Texas Beach Watch, who is in charge of the testing. "They're all very clean down there."
The weekly tests are done by collecting water samples and then incubating them for 24 hours in a lab. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you can suffer from nausea, vomiting, stomach aches, diarrhea and more if you come into contact with fecal-contaminated water.
But spring breakers and Rio Grande Valley natives are safe if they choose to take a dip inside South Padre Island's waters.
"As far as South Padre Island beaches, there's almost never any high samples at all," Davis said.
Brandon Hill, Shoreline Director for the city of South Padre Island, says he plans to keep it that way.
"Thankfully, a lot of it is nature-based. We're just in such a beautiful area here in the coast of Texas that the water that is filtered down to us here is cleaner, thanks to the wetlands and the various plants it moves through down to our system," said Hill. "We put a lot of work into making sure no matter which access you choose to go to, no matter what day you're going to get a beautiful South Padre Island Texas beach."
There will be 18 workers cleaning up SPI beaches around the clock during spring break, along with 200 trash cans placed throughout the shoreline to ensure nothing contaminates the island.
"Every city employee that works hard to make spring break happen is a hero," said Hill.
Several beaches, like Crystal Beach near Galveston, ranked 'high' for large amounts of fecal bacteria. Nine Corpus Christi beaches were also found to have medium levels of fecal bacteria.