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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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Update: Wild Pigs Negatively Impact Ground-nesting Birds

Update: Wild pigs negatively impact ground-nesting birds

Wild pigs are an invasive species that can cause damages to private land, water quality and other wildlife populations. For ground-nesting birds, wild pigs pose a real threat to nest success and population numbers. Recent research documented that wild pigs readily consume eggs and depredate both wild and simulated nests. For the Rio Grande turkey (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia), Eastern turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris), Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and declining waterfowl species, nest destruction by wild pigs may lead to decreased…

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Lege+water: April 2021 Update

lege+water: April 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. The Senate Water, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs Committee is still meeting weekly on Monday mornings at 8 a.m., while…

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Blanco County Students Paint For The Stars

Blanco County students paint for the stars

The Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky (BCFNS) last week concluded its 2021 Night Sky Art Contest for students at the high schools and middle schools in both Blanco and Johnson City. The contest, whose theme was “Discover the Night – Deep in the Dark of Texas™,” drew entries from 126 students. Two sets of cash prizes ranging from $100 to $10 were awarded. “We were excited to once again challenge these very talented students to express their love…

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New Poll Shows 78% Of Voters Support Federal Investment In Water Infrastructure

New poll shows 78% of voters support Federal investment in water infrastructure

A new poll by the Value of Water Campaign released today shows that American voters’ support for increasing federal water infrastructure investment (78 percent) remains high, is bipartisan, and is on par with eliminating COVID-19 and strengthening the American economy as a top priority. The poll results found that while 83 percent of American voters support ensuring a reliable supply of water, there is a growing concern about the state of national water infrastructure, with only 47 percent of Americans…

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