Summer is coming and that means beating the heat by spending time at the river. For my family, that means swimming in the Pedernales, fishing along the Colorado, and tubing in the San Marcos. Rivers play an important role in the lives of Texans all over the state. Rivers connect communities, provide vital fish and wildlife habitat and supply essential freshwater to feed the nursery areas in our bays and estuaries along the Texas coast.
Unfortunately, as important as Texas rivers are, we cannot always assume that the water our natural systems need will be there. It takes proactive management, thoughtful policy-making and the hard work of people, governments and organizations that care about this issue to make sure that these waters are protected.
Through the Keeping Rivers Flowing webinar series, we are exploring innovative approaches that have been used in the US and other parts of the world to ensure that rivers, bays and estuaries continue to get the flow needed to protect water quality and support healthy fish and wildlife populations.
Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Approaches to Protect and Restore Rivers is a free 3-Part webinar series. Each presentation explores a different approach to preserving and protecting river flows that we think could have an application in Texas. The first webinar was on April 30th (don’t worry, we recorded it), but there are 2 more that you can participate in on May 29th and June 25th. Please join us.
Thursday, May 29, 2:00 – 3:00 PM CST – Focus on Western Water Project
Register @ https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/554633799
This webinar examines on-the-ground techniques used in Trout Unlimited’s (TU) Western Water Project where TU works with ranchers and farmers to find mutually beneficial solutions to increasingly complex water demands for water from fish and people in the Rocky Mountain West. Their mission is to “restore healthy stream flows and habitat in some of the West’s best places.” Russell Schnitzer, TU’s Ag Policy Advisor, will be joining us to discuss this compelling project. Myron Hess from the National Wildlife Federation and Mary Kelly with Parula LLC will also join the conversation and highlight opportunities to protect and restore Texas rivers using strategies from TU and others as well as discuss Texas policy challenges.
Wednesday, June 25th 2:00 – 3:00 PM CST – Focus on Murray-Darling Basin Plan
Register @ https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/614264855
The third (and final) webinar in our series takes us across the globe to Australia to learn about the historic Murray-Darling Basin agreement. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is a comprehensive program involving scores of stakeholders to preserve water use at environmentally sustainable levels. The webinar will highlight the research, policies and agreements necessary to make this program work. Mike Young, the Chair of Water and Environmental Policy at the University of Adelaide, was involved on the development of the M-D Basin Plan. Mr. Young will also explore aspects of the M-D Plan that could be applicable in Texas. Myron Hess, a Texas water policy expert with National Wildlife Federation will highlight why this issue is important and which aspects he feels are particularly applicable in Texas.