TEXAS SEAGRASS PLAN REVIEW WORKSHOP- 2009
In 2008, the Seagrass Monitoring Workgroup initiated planning to host a workshop to conduct a 10 year review the Seagrass Conservation Plan for Texas (1999). Members wanted to review what Plan recommendations had (and had not) been accomplished in the 10 years since its publication. The Workgroup hosted a number of meetings over the course of 2008 and 2009, where they invited a larger group of stakeholders (beyond the workgroup’s membership) to review and comment on the 1999 Plan. These meetings culminated in the Texas Seagrass Conservation Plan Review Workshop held in Corpus Christi, Texas, on 11-12 June 2009, where 100 individuals met to review the 1999 Plan. Participants included scientists, resource managers, planners, and members of the private sector among others. Attendees reviewed the various chapters of the Plan and their comments and recommendations were recorded, reviewed and then incorporated as appropriate into the proceeding’s recommendations.
The resulting report recommends several areas of improvement and change to the 1999 Plan; however, it should not be regarded as a replacement for the 1999 Plan. No attempt was made to change the essential background and historical information already synthesized in the 1999 Plan document. All that material is as germane today as it was a decade earlier. Rather, the 2012 proceedings document is a supplement to the 1999 Plan, updating it with the accumulated experience of the intervening ten years. Also, the fact that much of the 1999 Plan carries over into the updated version should not be construed as a lack of accomplishment. Indeed, a great deal has been accomplished, as has been noted in the Chapter narratives and enumerated in Appendix B. Rather, many of the activities must be ongoing in order for seagrass conservation to be successful, as is the case for responding to emerging issues and exploiting new tools in Research (Chapter 1), coordinating much more fully among all interest groups in Management (Chapter 2), and continuing efforts toward all objectives in Education and Outreach (Chapter 3).
Recommended changes in the Plan statements for each topical area are noted in bold, even though this method cannot show deletions and is silent on what the change is and why. Where deemed important, these matters are dealt with in a narrative section preceding the Plan statement for each topical area. The 2008 scoping reports (Appendix A), seagrass management overview (Appendix B), list of participants at the June 2009 Seagrass Workshop held in Corpus Christi, Texas (Appendix C), original comments and
notes for each workshop breakout session (Appendix D), the written comments received at or after the workshop (Appendix E), and the responses to comments on the management chapter (Appendix F) are included so that a reader can retrace the development of any element of the Plan from original materials where any question arises that is inadequately or not treated in the chapter narratives. The 1999 Seagrass Conservation Plan is also available on the TPWD website for a look at the original Plan.
The proceedings below have been sent to the three state agencies (Texas General Land Office, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department) that signed off on the Seagrass Conservation Plan for Texas (1999) for their review. These agencies were asked to consider incorporating the workshop findings into their seagrass conservation activities. Their responses will be posted below as they are received.