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The Environment

Sierra Club to Hold Coastal Public Forums in May Focusing on Matagorda Bay and San Antonio Bay

Events Will Focus on New Process to Preserve Freshwater Inflows

The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club - in cooperation with other conservation organizations - will hold public forums in Bay City and Victoria this May to focus attention on a new state process for identifying and preserving flowing rivers and freshwater inflows into Texas coastal bays and estuaries. Both SB 3 and HB 3, enacted by the Texas Legislature in 2007, outline a stakeholder and scientific process for the protection of "environmental flows" to be implemented for various bays and associated river basins over the next several years.

This is a two-year process that has just begun this year for Galveston Bay and Sabine Lake and their respective river basins. Later in 2008, the process will be initiated for bays and river basins on the middle Texas coast (Matagorda Bay and San Antonio Bay), and in 2009 the process begins for the water resources on the lower Texas coast.

Speakers at both the Bay City and Victoria forums will be Myron Hess and Dr. Norman Johns from National Wildlife Federation. They will be joined by representatives from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and Texas Water Development Board. They will provide background on the environmental flows issue, an overview of the new environmental flows allocation process, and a look at specific issues affecting Matagorda Bay and San Antonio and their respective river basins.

These coastal forums are free and open to the public but we request that the people planning to attend please RSVP by May 16th to ensure adequate food and seating. Both forums will be evening events. Food and drinks will be provided for attendees from 6 to 7 p.m. Presentations will begin at 7 p.m., and the sessions will conclude by 9 p.m. Ample time will be provided for questions from the audience to the five speakers.

The Bay City Forum will be held on Tuesday, May 20th at the Bay City Civic Center. For more information or to RSVP, click here.

The Victoria Forum will be held on Wednesday, May 21st at the Victoria Community Center Annex. For more information, or to RSVP, click here.

For additional information, contact Jennifer Walker at 512.477.1728 or via e-mail.

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