Friday, September 20, 2013

Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance: Important News and Upcoming Events

Dear GEAA members and friends,

We need your help in making sure that Texas waters stay clean and healthy. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is proposing revisions to the state's water quality standards for rivers, lakes, and streams.  Some of the revisions would weaken efforts to keep or make Texas water bodies clean enough for swimming, boating, wading, canoeing, kayaking, and other recreational activities. Texans need to act NOW to oppose these revisions.

The most troublesome revisions would create a new category for "primary contact recreation 2" that would allow weaker clean water standards for streams put into that category and increase the levels of bacteria allowed in water bodies that could be cleaned up and used for recreation, creating permanently polluted streams and taking polluters off the hook to clean up their mess. 

Texans beat back an attempt by TCEQ in 2010 to weaken standards controlling bacteria pollution in water bodies designated for primary contact recreation when thousands of comments in opposition to the proposal were sent to TCEQ. Now proponents of pollution are seeking to undermine that clean water victory with new bureaucratic tricks to allow more bacteria in our streams and deny Texans the opportunity to recreate safely in more streams.  Send a message to TCEQ telling them to maintain – not weaken – water quality standards for bacterial pollution in Texas rivers and streams.

Many thanks to Ken Kramer, Water Resources Chair of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club for taking the lead on this important issue.  Go to the Lone Star Sierra Club page for more background on this issue and for Sierra Club's easy comment form.  (I apologize that I am unable to provide the links to the Sierra Club and their information.  If you contact me ( I will be happy to forward the information via e-mail.) 

Meanwhile, celebrate the Hill Country at the many great events going on this weekend and through September. 

Annalisa Peace
Executive Director

Happening around the Hill Country...

Those of you who like to garden are invited to the join gardening experts on September 21st at the Herff Farm in Boerne for free workshops that will help you create and maintain a productive vegetable garden.  Topics will include creating a garden bed, drip irrigation, worm composting, natural pest control, fertilizing, and many other sensible gardening techniques.  Read more here.  And, come celebrate Cibolo Nature Center’s 25th Anniversary Gala.  Click here for details.

Meanwhile, you Austinites can help the Austin Parks Foundation to close the Park Funding Gap.  Find out more here.

Folks in the SA metropolitan area, particularly those commuting from nearby cities, should weigh in on their preferred transportation options now.  The San Antonio – Bexar County MPO will be hosting a series of public meetings as the first stages of updating the region’s long range multi-modal transportation plan.  You can also participate on-line, or have them send a speaker to talk to your organization.  For more information, click here.

Please join OST100 as for  Traveling on Fredericksburg Road: 120 Years in 12 Miles exhibition, showing at the Institute of Texan Cultures September 19  through December 15, 2013.  A result of a spring 2013 research seminar in the UTSA College of Architecture, the exhibit traces the historical development of Fredericksburg Road between the years 1890 and 2010. The exhibition, including a large-scale timeline of the road, multiple oral histories, and a short film about the suburban expansion.

Bat Conservation International now lets you watch the bat emergence at Bracken Cave, the World’s largest bat colony, from the comfort of your own home.  Emergences begin around 7:30 each evening.  
And to celebrate this new development, BCI is hosting one more public tour to Bracken on September 20th! So make your reservation before it’s too late!  If you didn’t experience the bat flight this summer, you still have a chance to discover for yourself why this bat colony is so special: join BCI at the cave on September 20th or watch the evening bat emergence online. 

Joint the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance for a Dai Due feast of local foods by Chef Jesse Griffiths.   The banquet, featuring keynote speaker, Dr. Francis Thicke, will be held at the Bastrop Convention Center on Sunday, September 22nd at 7:p.m.  Can’t make it?  You can still support FARFA by bidding on their online auction, featuring an array of wonderful items local to Central Texas, statewide or nationwide, so you can find something great wherever you are!

The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association will be having their Fall Membership Meeting at Jacob’s Well on September 28th.  Fun for the whole family with a picnic dinner and music by One Village Music Project. 

"Preaching Green" panel discussion on Thursday, September 26 at 7pm at St. Mary's University's Quad Amphitheater. Click here for a campus map. Panel members will describe what in their faith traditions call them to care for the planet. Panelists will include: Imam Mustafa Safak (Muslim), Dr. Rama Krishna Rao (Hindu), Rev. Robert Woody (Episcopalian), and Irene Quesnot (Roman Catholic).

By the way, 457 people like all the information we share on GEAA’s Face Book page.  If you are the 500th person – let me know and I’ll send you a GEAA t-shirt.

here are some other great events coming up in our region this fall.  Check out the calendar here.

You can always keep up with interesting water news on GEAA's Face Book page
and, you can mail contributions to support GEAA to PO Box 15618, San Antonio, Texas 78212

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