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San Antonio Bay future at issue in partnership meeting Thursday

By JJ VELASQUEZ
June 22, 2010 at 1:22 a.m.


IF YOU GO

WHAT: San Antonio Bay Partnership Stakeholder Meeting

WHERE: The University of Houston - Victoria, Alcorn Auditorium, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday

BY JJ VELASQUEZ

A group of community members, government officials and business men and women who are concerned about the future of the San Antonio Bay will gather Thursday as it prepares a program to balance human and environmental interests in the bay system.

After experts presented information in January on what the program could do to manage the water system's resources, the group decided to move ahead with the plan.

The estuary program will be public-run and not be regulated by federal or state agencies.

Initiatives the program could push forward include preventing and monitoring habitat loss, such as marsh restoration projects. Marsh habitats affect a number of estuarine wildlife, including endangered whooping cranes.

On the agenda for Thursday's meeting is a draft statement on the purpose and goals of the program, options for organization structure and governance, funding options and the hosting of a meeting over the technical issues in the fall.

At the meeting, Darwin Ockerman of the U.S. Geological Survey will discuss the implication of new findings on freshwater flows in the San Antonio Bay.

Jimmy Martinez of the Texas General Land Office will discuss oil spill preparedness in Texas and along the Gulf Coast.

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