As climate change worsens, extreme weather periods such as droughts become more likely. In Texas, which is already prone to weather extremes, protecting water quantity and quality is paramount.
2100 Stamford Lane
Austin TX 78703
J.J. Langston (512) 934-7079
Purpose: Barton Springs Conservancy is working to honor, preserve, and enhance Barton Springs through education and facility improvement. With Barton Springs being one of Austin’s best-known landmarks and tourist destinations, we run the very real risk of “loving Barton Springs to death.” While increasing pool attendance and development over the Edwards Aquifer present challenges, there are opportunities to help preserve the Springs by matching the increase in population with enhanced education about water quality and environmental protection.
Projects/Activities: We are working on a number of projects including the Zilker Park Gatepost Restoration project to restore the historic entrance gateposts at the north entrance to Barton Springs Pool, the rehabilitation of the Historic Barton Springs Bathhouse, and a proposed Visitor Education Center for Zilker Park to provide enhanced environmental education outreach to visitors. Possible future water quality and environmental protection projects include repairing or reconstructing the dam(s) at the pool.
Volunteer Opportunities: Interns welcome.
Newsletters/Publications: E-newsletter on Web site.
Bull Creek Foundation
6417 Yaupon Drive
Austin, TX 78759
Rick Brimer (512) 750-1227
Purpose: The Bull Creek Foundation works to promote the harmonious balance between nature, recreation, and sustainable development in the Bull Creek Watershed. The watershed is loosely defined by RM 2222, US 183, RM 620 and Mesa Drive in northwest Austin. It encompasses about 32-square miles in area.
This volunteer group, founded in 1994 by Skip Cameron, believes that all area residents, workers, employers, and commuters have a stake in the area and can work together to maintain its delicate ecological balance. We work with the Boy & Girl Scouts, Austin Parks Foundation, Keep Austin Beautiful, Texas Museum of Science and Technology, Generation Serve, City of Austin PARD, and corporate volunteers to maintain and improve the experience of all users of the parks.
Volunteer Opportunities: Varied. Please contact us.
Newsletters/Publications: See Web site.
Dues: Voluntary (tax deductible) contributions accepted.
P.O. Box 328
Spicewood, Texas 78669
Jo Karr Tedder (512) 553-5827
Purpose: To assure that water in the Colorado River Basin should be managed in a way that maintains the biological and ecological soundness of its rivers, lakes, bays, and estuaries.
CTWC’s primary mission is to advocate for the preservation and conservation of the Highland Lakes’ water supply and water levels for the benefit of human health, safety, and recreation, and to preserve the Highland Lakes’ role as an irreplaceable economic engine for the State of Texas. Central Texas Water Coalition will bring together concerned individuals and groups to constructively address water issues of the Lower Colorado River Basin. Partners include lake residents, business owners, municipal officials, homeowner associations, environmentalists, and stakeholder organizations.
Investments in water conservation and efficiency, including but not limited to reducing water losses in water distribution systems, should be a top priority before major investments in increasing supplies.
Colorado River Alliance
P.O. Box 50029
Austin, TX 78763
Contact: Scott Sticker (512) 498-1587
Purpose: Secure the vitality of the Texas Colorado River through education and advocacy for all generations.
Projects/Activities: The Alliance programs include river, lake, and land cleanups, environmental education and awareness through youth camps, school-based environmental awareness programs, and water-centric speaker series.
We are a sponsor of the Lake Travis Underwater Cleanup, usually held in late summer. See our Web site for event dates!
Volunteer Opportunities: E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!
Newsletters/Publications: E-newsletter; sign up online.
Dues: See Web site for details.
Fluoride Free Austin
P.O. Box 7362
Austin, TX 78713
Rae Nadler-Olenick (512) 371-3786
Purpose: We are an alliance of concerned citizens from all walks of life united behind the goal of ending the dangerous, costly practice of community water fluoridation in Austin. We pursue our advocacy through an ongoing educational campaign that has brought the issue from obscurity a few years ago to widespread public awareness today.
Projects/Activities: Since October 2008, our members have regularly spoken out against fluoridation during Citizens Communication at City Council meetings. Our educational tools include the Fluoride Free Austin Web site, Fluoride Follies blog, FluorideFreeAustin YouTube channel, printed materials, special events, and e-newsletter The Fluoride Free Updater. We support political candidates and issues likely to further our cause.
Volunteer Opportunities: We’re always looking for people willing to speak at meetings of the City Council and/or its Public Health and Human Services Committee. We are also currently seeking people who may have suffered tooth damage (enamel fluorosis) due to the City of Austin’s water fluoridation practices. A video on our Web site’s front page describes fluorosis. Call for more information.
Barton Springs Pool
P.O. Box 685286
Austin, TX 78768-5286
Steve Barnick (512) 789-8512
E-Mail: See Web site link.
Purpose: We are dedicated to returning the Barton Springs Pool to its rightful glory. We have organized cleaning events to scrub algae from the pool bottom the first Thursday of every month, March through October. To date, we have organized over 1,200 volunteer hours to help clean the pool and removed at least 9,000 lbs. of algae.
We worked with the City Council and Aquatics staff to develop a resolution to create and fund a Barton Springs Master Plan to repair the decaying pool facilities and infrastructure. Numerous short-termed projects have been completed or are underway, including testing of dams, bypass tunnel repair, sediment removal, and general grounds improvements. Future plans include renovation of the historic Barton Springs Bathhouse.
Projects/Activities: Pool cleaning the 1st Thursday of the month, March thru October. Advocate for improvement of the facilities and infrastructure of Barton Springs.
Major events include Council Cleans the Pool Day, Give 5% for Mother Earth during Earth Day, Spring Picnic, and Treeathalon.
Meetings: 2nd Tuesday at 6:30 PM.
Volunteer Opportunities: Pool cleaning.
Dues: $25/year, or volunteer for 2-hour pool cleaning session.
Protect Lake Travis Association
13359 FM 2769
Austin, TX 78726
Lonnie Moore (512) 413-4306
Purpose: The Protect Lake Travis Association guards Lake Travis and its watershed from any events and conditions that could affect the health and safety of area residents, recreational users of the lake, and area wildlife. It also protects the aesthetic natural beauty of the area.
Projects/Activities: The Association is working on eliminating and preventing direct discharge permits to the lake, instead encouraging land irrigation with the treated wastewater. The Association promotes education of the citizenry on preventing pollution of the lake from septic tanks, lawn chemicals, and improper boating practices, and it participates and supports lake cleanup efforts.
Meetings: There is an annual meeting for general members, and a monthly meeting for board members and activists who do the general work of the Association.
Volunteer Opportunities: Call for information.
Newsletters/Publications: The PLTA e-News electronic newsletter is published 2-4 times/year. See Facebook site for past issues and subscription information.
Dues: Voluntary, $20/year suggested.
Save Barton Creek Association
P. O. Box 5923
Austin, TX 78763
Clark Hancock (512) 480-0055
Purpose: SBCA focuses on public education, land conservation, and public policy advocacy for the long-term protection of the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer. The aquifer is the source of the fourth-largest springs in Texas and has been determined to be the aquifer in Texas most susceptible to pollution. Its karst limestone composition does not filter pollution as some sand aquifers do, so essentially “What goes in, comes out.” And sometimes comes out quickly – right into Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park. The Barton Springs outflow of more than 30 million gallons per day soon flows into the Colorado River.
Projects/Activities: The Association performs and sponsors many projects that educate the public and especially children on the importance of water quality and protecting the aquifer, such as the Goat Cave Karst Preserve education restoration, stewardship of the Shudde Fath Tract, Splash! Exhibit at Barton Springs pool, Living Springs documentary, Texas River School programming, aquifer scientific research, and others.
Meetings: General Meetings are held 2nd Mondays at 6:30 PM at Baker Street Pub & Grill (3003 S. Lamar). Board Meetings are 4th Mondays from 7 to 9 PM at Casa Maria (4327 S. 1st). Anyone may attend general meetings. Please e-mail us if you’d like to attend a board meeting.
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers may be needed for clean-ups, to help with events, and for canoe trips with the Colorado River School. E-mail us for information.
Dues: Student Rate $10/yr; Individuals $30/yr; contributions in any amount are appreciated and go directly towards programming.
Save Our Springs Alliance
P. O. Box 684881
Austin, TX 78768
Pat Brodnax (512) 477-2320, ext. 301
FAX: (512) 477-6410
Purpose: Save Our Springs is a nonprofit alliance of activists, scientists, lawyers, and educators working to protect the springs of the Edwards Aquifer and the land, water, and wildlife of the Texas Hill Country. We accomplish this by steering development downstream and limiting pumping so our streams and springs keep flowing through droughts and a changing climate.
Volunteer Opportunities: Call office for details.
Dues: $10/Students & seniors; $20/Basic; $50-200/Business partner.
Shoal Creek Conservancy
P. O. Box 11520
Austin, TX 78711
Joanna Wolaver (512) 474-2412
Purpose: To preserve, protect, and enhance the ecological, social, and cultural vibrancy of Shoal Creek. The Conservancy’s vision is that Shoal Creek will be a vibrant corridor that integrates the flow of water and people, engages the community, and inspires the public. The scope of the Conservancy’s work is the 13-square mile Shoal Creek Watershed, which includes the 11-mile creek and its tributaries as well as 3.25 miles of existing Shoal Creek trail and over 12 parks.
Projects/Activities: Shoal Creek Trail; Vision to Action Plan; Shoal Creek Watershed Action Plan; Volunteer Service Days; 1887 Sixth Street Bridge Restoration & Placemaking.
Volunteer Opportunities: Monthly volunteer workdays available on our events calendar: shoalcreekconserva
Newsletters/Publications: Sign up for our monthly newsletter: shoalcreekconservan
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