Outreach and Education Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, May 23, 2007

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

  1. Land and Water Plan Update
    Staff: Robert Cook
  2. Nobody's Waterproof Campaign
    Staff: Brandi Bradford, Alfonso Campos
  3. State Parks Interpretation and Exhibits Program Overview
    Staff: Angela Davis, Lupita Barrera
  4. Angler Education Program
    Staff: Ann Miller

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Robert L. Cook

Outreach and Education Committee
Land and Water Plan Update
May 23, 2007

I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Robert L. Cook will briefly update the Commission on the status of the agency's efforts to implement the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (the Plan).

II. Discussion: In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature directed that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) develop a Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Tex. Park & Wild. Code §11.104). In November 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan. A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005. The Plan is available on the TPWD web site. Executive Director Robert L. Cook will update the Finance Committee on TPWD's recent progress in achieving the Plan's Goals and Objectives as they relate to the Outreach and Education Committee.

The Plan consists of 8 Goals and a total of 56 Objectives. The Goals stated in the Plan are as follows:

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Brandi Bradford
Alfonso Campos

Outreach and Education Committee
Nobody's Waterproof Campaign
May 23, 2007

I. Executive Summary: The Department has launched a new boating and water safety campaign entitled, "Nobody's Waterproof." Developed by the Lower Colorado River Authority, this national-award winning program will be taken by department staff and partners to other areas of the state. Use of the campaign will increase awareness of boating and water safety and participation in boater education courses.

II. Discussion: The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and the Department have agreed to work together under the Nobody's Waterproof brand to expand, develop and implement water safety education programs and develop a comprehensive communications and marketing campaign. The campaign enables the Department reach more people with water safety information, and with training and activities that positively affect attitudes and behaviors on Texas waterways.

The National Safe Boating Council recently recognized LCRA with the 2007 National Boating Education Advancement Award at the International Boating and Water Safety Conference in San Antonio in March. Nobody's Waterproof consists primarily of promotional campaigns targeting the 18 to 34 year-old demographic that is at a higher risk for boat accidents. Outreach teams reach target audiences where they are - on vessels at major reservoirs, rivers and coastal areas and at boat ramps during high use weekends. Trained staff and boat operators approach water users in a friendly, approachable manner with games and activities stressing the use of personal floatation devices (life jackets), avoidance of drinking while operating a boat, and other important boating and water safety practices.

Sponsors and donors are invited to take part in the campaign through the statewide distribution of promotional materials. One partner, Mr. Tim Lindt, through the Britteny Sage Lindt Fund, donated a boat to the campaign. Mr. Lindt's daughter was killed in a boating accident on Lake Lewisville, and the fund was established in her name. Mr. Lindt will be officially recognized prior to the May 24th commission meeting for the donation and for his efforts to make Texas waterways safer.

An LCRA Representative will give a brief overview on the campaign from the LCRA's perspective.

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Angela Davis
Lupita Barrera

Outreach and Education Committee
State Parks Interpretation and Exhibits Program Overview
May 23, 2007

I. Executive Summary: State Parks Interpretation and Exhibits Program (I&E) staff will present an overview of the program and its goal - to spark curiosity and provide intellectual and emotional connections between visitors and the resources of Texas's parks. The I&E Program is comprised of five teams that work together to plan and implement interpretive programs and exhibits. Additionally, this program plays a key role in training and outreach. All of these activities constitute a core function of this agency - helping park visitors become more informed about conservation.

Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Ann Miller

Outreach and Education Committee
Angler Education Program
May 23, 2007

I. Executive Summary: Fishing has been shown to be one of the most effective doorway activities into outdoor recreation. The TPWD Angler Education program is a national model for recruiting new anglers. The program is based on a fun, hands-on training approach that integrates basic fishing skills, safety, ethics and aquatic stewardship. Using research-based strategies, staff target youth and their families through a network of trained volunteers and partnerships with other TPWD divisions, fishing clubs, community groups and schools. This network introduces 10,000 youth and their families each year to fishing and stewardship of aquatic resources.

II. Discussion: TPWD Angler Education leads the nation in applying research-based Best Practices in fishing and aquatic stewardship education. We maintain the largest network of volunteer instructors and creative community partnerships in the nation. Staff in Austin, Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex develop and support strategic partnerships to connect with families, the most effective approach for recruiting and retaining new anglers. These partners include schools, scouts, neighborhood centers and fishing clubs. Our partnerships with the Texas Bass Federation Nation and flyfishing clubs are featured in national conferences and professional newsletters. In a multi-divisional effort sponsored by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, we are researching effective methods to reach Hispanic families in the Houston area. In another effort to reach new constituents, we placed contract workers at 11 state parks to organize over 40 family fishing events this spring and summer. The heart of our program, however, is our nearly 1,000 volunteers who dedicate many Saturday mornings to teach the basics of fishing and respect for aquatic resources within their communities across the state. These volunteers reach over 10,000 youth and families annually.