Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust Preservation Matters


February 16, 2007

Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust to Receive $400,000 Federal Grant to Purchase Wetlands in Guadalupe River Delta
Funding supports Texas Parks & Wildlife Department projects to help preserve wetland habitat in the Guadalupe River Delta

SEGUIN — The Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust (Trust) today announced a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) grant of $398,637, leveraged by Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) partner funding, will be used to help conserve key breeding, stop-over and wintering habitat for migratory birds in the Guadalupe River Delta.

"The GBRA committed $200,000 to leverage the $398,637 grant that will help conserve an area that feeds into San Antonio Bay and is just north of the Guadalupe Delta Wildlife Management Area," said Todd Votteler, executive director of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust. "With these funds, we will be able to acquire critical wetlands that species such as neotropical birds rely upon. The Trust and GBRA continue to seek partnerships like this to help preserve the environment along the Guadalupe River Basin."

The USFWS grant is part of the $18,753,373 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Program which funded 25 projects in 14 states. The Guadalupe River Delta Conservation Project was the only Texas project funded for 2007. The Trust and GBRA partner funding brings the total funding of nearly $200,000 which will be added to the $400,000 being passed through the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) to the Trust to acquire approximately 689 acres of habitat, which is 93 percent wetlands and includes 4.35 miles of riparian streams. Located below the confluence of the San Antonio and Guadalupe Rivers, the land purchase will help create a corridor of conserved lands in this critical area of the Guadalupe River Basin.

"Working with others to accomplish landscape conservation is one of the Services' highest priorities," said John Huffman, Coastal Program Coordinator for the USFWS. "This project is a good example of collaborative conservation, people working together to accomplish perpetual conservation of fish and wildlife habitats. I am looking forward to working with TPWD, the Trust and GBRA to see the successful completion of this project. The award of the National Coastal Wetland Grant to this project could not have been possible without the willing participation of TPWD."

The project is located in a key region where currently 147,377 acres of land are conserved. These lands are held by the TPWD, the USFWS and private landowners. This project will help create a corridor of conserved lands, benefit existing projects and promote future partnerships and projects. Conservation activities in the Texas Mid-Coast have been spurred by the documented wetland and prairie loss within the region. Many large tracts of coastal plains have been converted to agriculture or developed.

The Trust is a charitable, non-profit 501(c)3 organization that was developed to conserve the land and water of the Guadalupe River watershed for its natural, recreational, scenic, historic and productive value. The mission of 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.

GBRA is a conservation and reclamation district of the State of Texas, created in 1933. GBRA provides stewardship for the water resources in its ten-county statutory district, which begins near the headwaters of the Guadalupe and Blanco Rivers, ends at San Antonio Bay, and includes Kendall, Comal, Hays, Caldwell, Guadalupe, Gonzales, DeWitt, Victoria, Calhoun and Refugio counties.

The USFWS is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

The TPWD manages and conserves the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.