Congress could put Americans back to work through conservation

Congress could put Americans back to work through conservation

Why post-COVID economic recovery efforts should include investments in our public lands, fish and wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation infrastructure Across the federal government, there are a suite of habitat restoration programs designed to benefit fish and wildlife and enhance the resiliency of our natural systems, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the National Fish Habitat Partnership, and the Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails Program. These on-the-ground restoration programs infuse important resources into local communities, generate construction jobs,…

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Flood Infrastructure Fund abridged application deadline reminder and new on-demand presentations

Flood Infrastructure Fund abridged application deadline reminder and new on-demand presentations

Press Release: Texas Water Development Board – For Immediate Release: May 13, 2020 The Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF) abridged application period will close at 5:00 p.m. on June 15. Please visit the FIF webpage to learn more and download the application. Abridged applications will be used to collect the information necessary to prioritize projects, determine the best source of funding, and rank projects according to the Flood Intended Use Plan. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will then invite entities…

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The Trailist: 4-mile extension connects Mission Reach and Medina River trails

The Trailist: 4-mile extension connects Mission Reach and Medina River trails

Mile by painstaking mile, the City, Bexar County, and the San Antonio River Authority have made incremental progress on expanding concrete paths along local waterways, such as the San Antonio River and Leon and Salado creeks. However, the completion of 4.1 miles on the southern end of the Mission Reach trail is a good time to step back and look at the bigger picture. The City’s newest completed trail section joins the Mission Reach to the roughly 10-mile Medina River…

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Opinion: Hays County’s watersheds are under attack

Opinion: Hays County’s watersheds are under attack

It is undeniable—the Austin area is booming. More people have moved to Travis County and its surrounding area, including Hays County. As populations grow, so must infrastructure, but matters become complicated in ecologically sensitive areas like the one we call home. The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, or CAMPO, has put forward a plan to address the transportation needs of the Austin area over the next 25 years. Both the Edwards Aquifer and the Blanco River watersheds will be negatively…

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Supreme Court gives environmentalists partial water law win

Supreme Court gives environmentalists partial water law win

The U.S. Supreme Court gave environmentalists a partial win on the scope of the Clean Water Act, ruling that the law applies to some pollution discharges that don’t go directly into a major body of water. The 6-3 decision Thursday told a federal appeals court to reconsider its conclusion that a Hawaii water-treatment facility violated the law with wastewater discharges that travel underground a half mile to the Pacific Ocean. But the high court majority set a standard that will…

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Speak now please! Together we can save our Hill Country future, not pave it!

Speak now please! Together we can save our Hill Country future, not pave it!

The next Hays County Commissioners’ Court meeting is TUESDAY, April 28th at 9:00 AM – please contact the following elected officials in advance to state your views! judge.becerra@co.hays.tx.us (512) 393-2205; mark.jones@co.hays.tx.us (512) 262-2091; jhughson@sanmarcostx.gov (512) 393-8091; debbiei@co.hays.tx.us (512) 393-2243; lon.shell@co.hays.tx.us (512) 847-3159; walt.smith@co.hays.tx.us (512) 858-7268 You can also send a message to the entire 23 member CAMPO board by clicking here.  It’s truly amazing how much our Hill Country community of Hays, Blanco and Gillespie counties have come together to oppose Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway pipeline. Uniting against this existential, external threat has…

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State and regional flood planning: the future of flood resilience in Texas

State and regional flood planning: the future of flood resilience in Texas

Starting in 2020, Texas stakeholders will have the opportunity to determine the best flood mitigation strategies for their region through a process called “flood planning.” Regional Flood Planning Groups (RFPG) will lead this effort, as prescribed by Senate Bill 8 which was passed by Texas Legislature in 2019. Flood planning regions will correspond with 15 major Texas rivers and coastal basins delineated by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). Based on the current draft rules, each RFPG will be composed…

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‘Mega-drought’ could be in store for Texas, western U.S.

‘Mega-drought’ could be in store for Texas, western U.S.

The American West is well on its way into one of the worst mega-droughts on record, a new study warns, a dry period that could last for centuries and spread from Oregon and Montana, through the Four Corners and into West Texas and northern Mexico. Several other mega-droughts, generally defined as dry periods that last 20 years or more, have been documented in the West going back to about 800 A.D. In the new study, the researchers, using an extensive…

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Financing nature-based flood mitigation projects with Texas’ Flood Infrastructure Fund – Hill Country

Financing nature-based flood mitigation projects with Texas’ Flood Infrastructure Fund – Hill Country

The Hill Country is no stranger to flooding. In 2015, the Memorial Day flood brought devastating rains to the region. As flood events grow stronger and more frequent, it is more important than ever to take advantage of opportunities to protect our citizens and natural heritage from these events.  Senate Bill 7, established by the Texas Legislature in 2019, created the Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF). The FIF is an important step towards building a more resilient Texas. Last fall, Texas…

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Big opportunities lie ahead for green infrastructure in Texas

Big opportunities lie ahead for green infrastructure in Texas

Green infrastructure and nature-based solutions are essential to creating flood resilient communities in Texas. Traditional gray infrastructure techniques such as dams, levees, and channels, capture water and push it downstream. On the other hand, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions are effective flood mitigation tools that capture water at the source, and allow the water to infiltrate into the ground. This reduces runoff and strain on traditional flood infrastructure during flooding events. Examples of green and nature-based flood mitigation solutions include: open…

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