Commentary | South Texas to Trump: If you want our land to build a wall, come and take it

Commentary | South Texas to Trump: If you want our land to build a wall, come and take it

  • April 5, 2017
  • News

On Jan. 25, President Donald Trump ordered “the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border.” His pledge to “build the wall” and make Mexico pay for it, was a big applause line on the campaign trail. In Texas, however, many are concerned about this plan, especially where I live in the Rio Grande Valley. Many Texans are concerned about the cost of the wall’s construction, the effect on business with Mexico (Texas’ largest trading partner), and the…

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New USGS assessment provides fresh insights into nation’s brackish groundwater inventory

New USGS assessment provides fresh insights into nation’s brackish groundwater inventory

A new nationwide assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests that the nation’s brackish groundwater could help stretch limited freshwater supplies. This study, the first of its kind in more than 50 years, found that the amount of brackish groundwater underlying the country is more than 800 times the amount currently used each year. With issues like drought, groundwater depletion, dwindling freshwater supplies, and demand for groundwater expected to continue to rise, understanding brackish groundwater supplies can help determine whether…

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Are Your Streetlights Killing You?

Are Your Streetlights Killing You?

  • April 4, 2017
  • News

“Not only is blue-rich white LED street lighting five times more disruptive to our sleep cycle than conventional street lighting, according to the report, but recent large surveys have documented that brighter residential nighttime lighting is associated with reduced sleep, impaired daytime functioning and a greater incidence of obesity.” Here’s how we work: sunlight suppresses our body’s production of melatonin, but when it gets dark, melatonin floods our body and helps us get to sleep and stay asleep. Not surprisingly,…

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Water woes: Texas lawmakers must protect our precious streams, creeks, rivers and watering holes

Water woes: Texas lawmakers must protect our precious streams, creeks, rivers and watering holes

  • April 4, 2017
  • News

It’s hard to imagine a Hill Country bereft of winding rivers, fast-running streams, lazy creeks and deep, green swimming holes. Where would Mystic, Waldemar and Flaming Arrow campers go to canoe, swim and lounge? If the Blanco River no longer traveled through its distinctive white limestone streambed, would tourists still flock to the city of Wimberly? Jacob’s Well, the swimming hole on Cypress Creek northwest of Wimberly, has already stopped flowing twice in the past couple of years. Yet misguided…

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Commentary: Investing in nature is a better way to meet America’s needs

Commentary: Investing in nature is a better way to meet America’s needs

  • April 4, 2017
  • News

Ask Texans about their favorite landscape and you’re likely to get more than a dozen different answers. That’s because Texas, second only to Alaska in land size, has a rich array of landscapes to choose from. Our state offers nearly every major habitat type on earth. We are lucky in that way. There are “pineywoods” to the east and expansive coastal marshes, bays and beaches to the south. Prairies dot the north. And in the west, arid deserts give way…

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