Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust Preservation Matters

News

October 27, 2004

UGRA to Build Partnership with Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust

The Upper Guadalupe River Authority Board of Directors today approved establishing a partnership with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust. The mission of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust (the "Trust") is to promote and encourage the conservation, stewardship and enjoyment of the land and water resources of the Guadalupe River watershed, while maintaining its unique and irreplaceable natural heritage. UGRA President Janet Robinson said, "We are very excited about working with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust to further stewardship of the Upper Guadalupe watershed." Trust President Pam Hodges thanked the UGRA for their support of the Trust and stated, "We have a commonality of interests and purpose revolving around stewardship of the watershed. Working together, the three organizations will be more effective in that mission". Todd Votteler, Executive Director of the Trust, said, "Our new partnership will create a land and water trust that is supported by both river authorities and is devoted to the conservation of the entire river. This will make the Trust a unique conservation organization within the State of Texas."

The Trust facilitates the voluntary conservation of resources within the Guadalupe watershed, which is under increasing pressure from development and fragmentation. UGRA's decision to partner with the Trust was driven by the fact that the flow of clear, quality water in the Upper Guadalupe is directly dependant on the health of the watershed. According to Greg Etter, UGRA General Manager, "This partnership will create synergies and be of substantial benefit to the Upper Guadalupe and Kerr County. Voluntary conservation and sound land management by private landowners are the keys to protecting and enhancing water quantity and quality in the Upper Guadalupe." The Trust and UGRA will be working closely together in Kerr County. UGRA will be naming a Kerr County representative to sit on the Trust's Board, which will be expanded to eight members. Final approval of the partnership by the Trust and Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority ("GBRA") Boards will occur in November. Further information about the Trust, which was established by GBRA in 2001, can be found at www.gbrtrust.org.

The UGRA Board was also briefed on the results of UGRA's annual bacteria monitoring program. This year's results once again showed the Upper Guadalupe to be in good shape for swimming, with few exceptions. UGRA and the Volunteer River Monitors combine to sample 32 swimming areas on a weekly basis during the swimming season. Samples are analyzed in UGRA's state-of-the-art environmental laboratory. The Volunteer River Monitors Program was successfully initiated in 2003 and expanded in 2004. The response to the call for volunteers has been positive, and UGRA plans to continue the Program in 2005. Etter expressed thanks to the volunteers, saying: "Volunteer monitoring plays an important role in understanding and protecting the River that means so much to the people of Kerr County."