CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Earth Day is coming up this month, and the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation hosted their 23rd annual Earth Day-Bay Day at Heritage Park to celebrate.
"This is data, I'm collecting data right now."
That data is being collected by Amie West for her work at the Harte Research Institute. She studies the Corpus Christi Bay and our affects on it. Saturday's "Earth Day-Bay Day" event at Heritage Park revolves around that theme.
"There's so many things that it does for you," said West, "It feeds us, it entertains us, it's like I don't know this whole area's all about these bay systems and it just kind of reverberates through everything."
Her research involves asking people what the bay means to them. She says she's happy with how honest their answers were.
"One of the things that I really love about this is that people are using feeling words, instead of, there are a lot of people saying fishing. But people are using feeling words like peaceful and tranquil—it's interesting."
As for the days activities, the birds of the Coastal Bend were on full display.
Interactive shows in the center of the park gave kids a chance to learn about the birds they don't get to see every day. Like Chance, a rehabilitated owl at the Texas State Aquarium.
"Chance was found as a fledgling and a good Samaritan brought him in to our rescue center and there he was rehabilitated," said Devika Tijerina of the Texas State Aquarium.
"He does missing part of his left wing but he has been with us for the past almost 6 years now." she told us.
And as everyone got a chance to learn about the animals and efforts to conserve them, wildlife care specialist Giovanna Pena spoke about the importance of the community helping when they can.
"What we do is all for the animals but it's important for the public to know that as well," said Pena. "Everyone should give back and I feel the community has a sense that they're able to help once they bring an animal in."
Since 2018, the Wildlife Rescue Center at the aquarium has seen more than 6,000 patients—most injured by human causes.
Events like today help to raise awareness about what it takes to take care of the ecosystem in the Coastal Bend.
To Pena, that work is more important than ever because, "We are the 'birdiest' city around."
"To see all those birds that are coming through through migration and then have a rescue center that is able to help all those birds and maybe, hopefully get them back out into the world after they've been rehabilitated or find forever homes."
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