Keeping the San Antonio River Clean

San Antonio is known for being the proud owner of many tourist destinations. One tourist favorite is the River Walk, a pathway that extends for miles alongside the banks of the San Antonio River in which pedestrians can visit shops, restaurants, and relax to the sounds of Mariachi bands while they walk. While taking in the enchanting sight of the River Walk, it’s easy to forget that the river is not just an attractive addition to San Antonio but a major influence on local businesses and the tourist economy.

San Antonio works hard to keep the River Walk, and particularly the San Antonio River, clean. Many shops that stand alongside the River Walk make much of their business off of the river, and it remaining clean and pristine is vital to attracting customers.

“It hasn’t affected the amount, but the guests do notice it,” Selina Guerra, a hostess at Iron Cactus, said about pollution and the customer turnout rate. “They’ll ask if the water is always this green sometimes.”

Anyone can participate in keeping the River Walk clean. Photo by Anna Robertson

Though the cleanliness of the river is obviously a vital concern to businesses, the San Antonio River has recently been trash-free. In fact, most tourists haven’t noticed any trash or pollution, and instead have only positive things to say about the River Walk and the river.

“I’ve never seen a ton of trash in it or anything,” Lauren Watts, a tourist visiting from Corpus Christi, said. “I think it’s very important for it to be clean for local businesses otherwise that romantic aspect and the aspect of wanting to bring people here is gone. If the river’s polluted and it’s got a lot of trash in it, then nobody’s going to want to come and look at it.”

In recent years, the city of San Antonio has taken new steps in order to rejuvenate the river and clear it of any trash or pollution that may exist.

“I’ve been working on the river walk since I was 18 and I’m 35 now, so they’ve actually been making some changes,” Jerry Sanchez, a restaurant worker at Waxy O’Connor’s Irish Pub, said. “They drain it for probably one week in part of the slowest month in January. They’ve been taking a lot of the dirt out and putting river rock in so it could actually filter it out for the ecosystem.”

The changes being made to keep the river clean have allowed the natural landscape to flourish. Photo by Anna Robertson

The River Walk truly embodies the spirit and culture of San Antonio. The centerpiece is, of course, the San Antonio River. As of now, it’s clear that the city of San Antonio is doing their part and keeping it clean. The local businesses, the tourists, and the San Antonio River, are thankful.


For more information on the River Walk, visit .

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