New snorkel tours offer up-close view of protected San Marcos springs

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The springs that once played host to an underwater theme park are now protected, and the group leading conservation efforts at Spring Lake is offering an up-close view of the area’s ecology. The springs that form Spring Lake, the headwaters of the San Marcos River, host a variety of endangered species, including the Texas blind salamander. The health of the springs has a direct impact downstream on popular tubing and swimming spots. “We’re trying to…

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Houston company halts plans for crude oil pipeline across aquifer recharge zone

Houston company halts plans for crude oil pipeline across aquifer recharge zone

Plans to build a controversial proposed crude oil pipeline over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone have been canceled, Texas Hill Country landowners and a Houston pipeline company told the Rivard Report on Thursday. Rick Rainey, vice president of public relations for Houston-based Enterprise Product Partners, confirmed the pipeline would not cross over the aquifer recharge zone. The company plans to release additional information about the pipeline on Friday, including where it might move. The decision comes after landowners met with…

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Geneva to be plunged into darkness (on purpose) to expose light pollution

Geneva to be plunged into darkness (on purpose) to expose light pollution

  • October 1, 2019
  • News

Almost 150 municipalities in greater Geneva will hold a planned blackout on Thursday night to raise public awareness of the negative effects of light pollution. Authorities across much of greater Geneva will switch off public lighting on the night of Thursday September 26 for a public awareness event being dubbed “La nuit est belle” (It’s a beautiful night/Nighttime is beautiful). “The initiative aims to raise awareness of the harmful effects of light pollution and also allow our 1 million inhabitants…

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Map shows proposed oil pipeline’s route across Hill Country West of San Antonio

Map shows proposed oil pipeline’s route across Hill Country West of San Antonio

  • September 30, 2019
  • News

A planned crude oil and condensate pipeline across the Texas Hill Country would cross over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone on its route from West Texas to south of San Antonio, according to a map obtained by the Rivard Report. A set of slides from Houston-based pipeline company Enterprise Products Partners dated September 2019 includes a route map that shows the pipeline extending from Midland County to Wilson County, crossing Upton, Reagan, Crockett, Schleicher, Sutton, Edwards, Real, Kerr, Bandera, Uvalde,…

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TxDOT unveils plan to widen Loop 1604

TxDOT unveils plan to widen Loop 1604

  • September 30, 2019
  • News

Colleen Waguespack, president of Northside Neighborhoods for Organized Development, is among thousands of Northsiders familiar with the challenges that come with driving Loop 1604. Waguespack and more than 100 others gathered at Resurrection Baptist Church on Redland Road on Tuesday to review schematics and drawings that outline a State plan to widen 23 miles of the freeway. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) proposed to expand Loop 1604 to a 10-lane roadway between Bandera Road (Texas Highway 16) and Interstate…

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One Water in action: Travis County Courthouse

One Water in action: Travis County Courthouse

This summer, Travis County broke ground on the new Civil and Family Court Building. The 435,000 square foot facility is located at 1700 Guadalupe Street and sits on 1.46-acres.  It is located in the northern part of downtown which is rapidly being re-developed. Travis County leadership realized early that construction of this new facility was a unique opportunity to deploy One Water strategies for the good of the community.  Commissioner Brigid Shea worked closely with the City of Austin’s Water…

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Houston company proposes crude oil pipeline across Edwards Aquifer

Houston company proposes crude oil pipeline across Edwards Aquifer

A Houston pipeline company is planning to build a new crude oil pipeline across the Hill Country that would almost certainly pass over the recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer, the main drinking water supply for the San Antonio region. Landowners in Bandera County earlier this month began receiving notices from Enterprise Products Partners, a publicly traded company that specializes in transporting oil and natural gas, about a new pipeline that would extend from Midland County in West Texas to…

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Voters should confirm groundwater district in November

Voters should confirm groundwater district in November

I’ve been saying for a long time that we need a groundwater conservation district in western Travis County, and now we can confirm our very own this November. Southwestern Travis County Groundwater Conservation District covers 200 square miles of southwest Travis County south of the Colorado River and west of MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1), including Oak Hill, Bee Cave, Lakeway and parts of West Lake Hills. After years in the making, it was created during the 2017 legislative session with…

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Ensuring One Water delivers for healthy waterways

Ensuring One Water delivers for healthy waterways

Texas Living Waters is an active advocate for the One Water approach because it offers tremendous opportunities for improving how water is managed. Even so, we are concerned that the available One Water implementation frameworks are not providing adequate guidance or methodologies for ensuring that implementation of One Water principles will result in actual on-the-ground benefits in achieving “healthy waterways,” which is a key component of the One Water approach. There often seems to be an assumption that implementing a One Water…

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Reflections on Texas, the outdoors and 40 years of writing and photography

Reflections on Texas, the outdoors and 40 years of writing and photography

Shannon Tompkins, who retires as September arrives and hunting seasons begin, has covered outdoor recreation and natural resources issues for four decades. September’s arrival marks a time of transition for Texas’ natural world and those whose hearts and actions are tied to the rhythms of land, water, sky and the life in, on and over it. This makes the month special for all Texans, but especially those of us who fish, hunt or otherwise spend time engaged with the natural…

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