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Lege+water: Mid-May 2021 Update

lege+water: mid-May 2021 Update

Every month during the 87th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, Dr. Todd Votteler and Dr. Robert Mace provide an update on water-related legislation. The key water committees are Water, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs in the Senate, chaired by Senator Charles Perry (R) of Lubbock, and Natural Resources in the House of Representatives, chaired by Representative Tracy King (D) of Uvalde. We are now in the endgame. The last day of the regular session is May 31. There is currently…

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Folks In The Field: Katherine Romans

Folks in the field: Katherine Romans

Starting as the Landowner Outreach Manager at Hill Country Alliance, Katherine Romans love for the region combined with her non-profit and policy expertise made her a natural fit to become the Executive Director for the regional non-profit organization. Romans lives in Austin with her husband and two kids. Destination Dripping Springs sat down with Katherine to chat about the Hill Country Alliance and your conservation work. Read more from Destination Dripping Springs here. 

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Pristine Streams In Texas Need Protection. It’s Up To The State Senate To Act.

Pristine streams in Texas need protection. It’s up to the state Senate to act.

The first time I paddled the Nueces River I was blown away by the water — crystal clear, aqua colored, almost tropical. I could easily see the bottom of the river many feet below me and fish as they darted under my kayak. Fed by springs that percolate up from groundwater beneath the Edwards Plateau, the Nueces is among the last remaining uniquely pure waterways in Texas. Read more from HCA Board President, Vanessa Puig-Williams, with Environmental Defense Fund here. 

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Many Texas Trees Still Suffering From February’s Winter Storm Won’t Make It, Arborists Say

Many Texas trees still suffering from February’s winter storm won’t make it, arborists say

If you haven’t noticed, some of Central Texas’ trees aren’t looking so good. Live oaks with leaves sprouting from the branches and trunk. Ash trees with a sporadic green on only half of the canopy. Loquat, fig and citrus trees with growth at the base of the tree and nowhere else. Read more from the Austin American-Statesman here. 

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Rebecca Creek Salamanders Could Warrant Federal Protection

Rebecca Creek salamanders could warrant Federal protection

Lizard-like amphibians with elongated bodies and tails, short limbs and external gills are the focus of scientists keeping tabs on groundwater health in Rebecca Creek. In April, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) staff headed out to the area with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) scientists to collect salamanders to help determine what species are present and whether they warrant federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. Read more from Stephanie Johnson with My…

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Solar-powered Suds

Solar-powered suds

Craft breweries, having already surged in popularity in recent decades, are enjoying a second renaissance during the COVID-19 pandemic as social life has moved outside. "I think back in the day before Bud, Miller, and Coors, you know, took over the Amer­i­can beer industry, there used to be a brewpub in every town," says Ian Davis, co-owner of Texas Beer Company in Taylor. "And it's just getting back to the way it used to be." A large patio or grounds,…

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Boost Protection For Texas’ Pristine Waters

Boost protection for Texas’ pristine waters

There are only a few truly pristine rivers left in Texas. SB 1747 and HB 4146 (passed on 5/11/21) would help protect them.  Help by voicing support for this bill.  Only about 40 streams out of over 2,000 streams in all of Texas are considered pristine because they have no detectable phosphorous–found in wastewater. Included, for example, is the beloved Upper Frio River, which flows through the most popular State Park in Texas, the Upper San Marcos River, a very…

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Q&a+water: Suzanne Scott

q&a+water: Suzanne Scott

In this issue’s Q&A, Texas+Water Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Todd Votteler, interviews Suzanne Scott, State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Texas. As State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Texas, Scott establishes conservation strategy and public policy leadership to protect the state’s cherished landscapes and support ecology, economy, public health, and equity. Working closely with a talented and diverse staff, she oversees the execution of landscape-scale conservation efforts, freshwater protection initiatives, and critical marine protection measures in the Gulf of Mexico,…

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Opportunity To Comment On The Draft 2022 State Water Plan

Opportunity to comment on the Draft 2022 State Water Plan

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is now receiving public comments on the Draft 2022 State Water Plan. Updated and adopted every five years, the state water plan serves as a roadmap for addressing the water needs of our state and ensures that Texas will have adequate water supplies during times of drought in the next 50 years. Read more from Texas Water Development Board here. 

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