Inadequate Environmental Flow Protection Threatens Keystone Species in Texas

Six Texas Freshwater Mussels Proposed for Endangered Species Protection Poor implementation of environmental flow protections is contributing to economic and environmental damage throughout Texas’ river basins, as illustrated by this month’s proposed listing of six native Texas freshwater mussel species for protection under the Endangered Species Act and this week’s announcement of the extinction of the San Marcos gambusia, a fish native to Central Texas.  According to new analysis by the National Wildlife Federation, implementation of Senate Bill 3 (SB 3, enacted in 2007) — Texas’ landmark regulatory process for flow protection — is faltering on multiple levels, with adopted flow standards falling far short of those recommended by scientists and ten-year review windows arriving...

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4 Ways Climate Change is Impacting Key Species in Texas Estuaries—and 4 Ways to Combat It

You haven’t truly seen a whooping crane until you’ve wandered onto the wetlands where they winter. The horizon is just a bit bigger there. Salt-marshes and ribbons of water unfurl endlessly in front of you, breathing easy behind the comfort of a seemingly impregnable line of barrier islands in the distance. This—the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Mid-Coast of Texas—is the only winter home of the only wild flock of whooping cranes on the continent. Perhaps it’s no accident the flock chose Texas. Everything about the crane is larger-than-life and stubbornly unique. Its elongated legs and neck make it the tallest bird in North America; it tops its bright white torso with a...

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Newly Launched Matagorda Bay Ecosystem Assessment can Inform Conservation Efforts

By Danielle Goshen, Water Policy & Outreach Specialist, Galveston Bay Foundation Some places truly do have it all. Matagorda Bay, located along the coast in Southeastern Texas is a veritable treasure trove of charismatic species. Relatively undeveloped compared to other Bay systems along the Texas coast, Matagorda Bay is home to many species listed as threatened and endangered on both the federal and state level. A few of these at-risk species include the Kemps Ridley and loggerhead sea turtles, interior least tern, and piping plovers. Even a few members of the last wild migrating flock of whooping crane, whose recovering population has been recently estimated to be just over 500, have been spotted hunting blue...

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