|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2010-12-29                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Dec. 29, 2010
"State of the Gulf--America's Sea" Video Documentary Airs Feb. 24-27
AUSTIN -- The one-hour video documentary "The State of the Gulf--America's Sea" will air in late February on all Texas public television stations, taking a broad look at the Gulf of Mexico almost a year after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The program will air at 8 p.m. central time, Thursday, Feb. 24 on most Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations in Texas, with KUHT in Houston running it the following weekend (see listing below). It's the fifth in an award-winning series of water resource documentaries produced by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and broadcast in partnership with PBS stations.
"America's Sea" will explore the rich diversity of the Gulf, its flora and fauna, geology and hydrology. The program will weigh the variety of eco-system services the Gulf provides to people and the various forces that threaten it, from hypoxia zones to hurricanes and oil spills. Critical habitats such as marshes and seagrasses will be examined, along with water quality and climate change. Viewers will also see how pragmatic regulation and active fisheries management has protected and enhanced marine resources for a sustainable future.
The opening segment of the documentary, "Burden of Bounty," gives an overview of the Gulf, its ecology and economy. The next segment, "Force of Nature," covers Hurricane Ike and earlier storms. The third segment showcases managing fisheries for the future, using redfish as a case study. Segment four, "What's in the Water" looks at problems like dead zones and red tide. The fifth segment, "Climate of Changes," features experts discussing sea level rise. The program concludes with "Action for the Oceans," showing viewers ways to help protect the Gulf.
The water documentary and 2011's awareness initiative were made possible thanks to support from non-profits, private companies and other organizations. Major sponsorship comes from the Friends of Harte Research Institute, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and the San Antonio Bay Foundation. The Nature Conservancy, Apache Corporation and Texas Monthly provided patron level support, and additional support was provided by Ducks Unlimited, Wells Fargo, San Antonio River Authority, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and the Texas Wildlife Association.
The program is part of a broader TPWD conservation awareness initiative begun in 2002 with a series of special water resource issues of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. The special issues have run each July, building to a 10-year anniversary water issue coming in July 2011. The communication initiative also includes Passport To Texas radio episodes, Internet and other components.
A companion website, Texas The State Of Water, will feature a preview of the documentary, links to additional information, and after the show airs, the complete program presented via streaming video and a complete written transcript.
PBS TV stations based in Dallas, Lubbock, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Midland-Odessa, Harlingen, Killeen, Waco and Austin will air the documentary at 8 p.m. Feb. 24. Stations in College Station and San Antonio will air the program at 9 p.m. that evening. KUHT-TV in Houston will air it at 3 p.m. Feb. 26 and 4 p.m. Feb. 27.
Below is a listing of Texas PBS stations showing most cities they serve. See local listings for station cable and broadcast channel numbers.
--KERA: Abilene, Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth, Longview, Lufkin, Marshall, Nacogdoches, Paris, San Angelo, Sherman, Tyler, Wichita Falls
--KUHT: Beaumont, Galveston, Houston, Port Arthur, Texas City, Victoria
--KLRN: Kerrville, Laredo, San Antonio
--KMBH: Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen, Mission
--KWBU: Waco
--KPFT: Midland, Odessa
--KNCT: Killeen, Temple
--KCOS: El Paso
--KTXT: Lubbock
--KACV: Amarillo
--KLRU: Austin
--KEDT: Corpus Christi
--KAMU: Bryan, College Station
---- On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Dec. 29, 2010
TPWD Seeks Input on Proposed Revised Rules for Exotic Aquatic Plants
AUSTIN - Many aquaria and landscape enthusiasts appreciate the beauty and functionality of aquatic plants, but the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department wants to ensure the introduction of non-native aquatic plants will not harm the state's natural resources.
To provide appropriate opportunities for use of certain non-native aquatic plants and algae without risking impacts to the state's natural resources, TPWD is proposing new rules for the possession of exotic aquatic plants, which includes a list of exotic aquatic plants approved for possession and sale in Texas. A series of public hearings to allow comments on these rules has been scheduled for January (see schedule below). The proposed rules and list of approved exotic aquatic plants can be viewed at http://tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/public_comment/. This site also allows online comments.
Possession of some non-native plants currently is prohibited while the possession of other non-native species is allowed with a permit. This system requires the department to continually monitor and update the prohibited list as new species are brought into Texas.
"We believe this new approach is the most efficient way to prevent the introduction of invasive exotics into the ecosystem," said Dr. Earl Chilton, TPWD's exotic vegetation program manager. "Most folks want to do what's right for the environment and knowing which exotic aquatics are acceptable will hopefully eliminate inadvertent introduction."
The introduction of harmful exotic (invasive) plant species into Texas and throughout the U.S. has been on the increase in recent years. Collectively, these species can and do have tremendous negative impacts on the environment and economy. Costs associated with control and eradication of invasive species (terrestrial and aquatic) in the United States has been estimated at more than $100 billion annually.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to vote on the proposed rules at its Jan. 27, 2011 meeting at TPWD's Austin headquarters. The public is welcome to attend this meeting and provide additional comments for the Commission's consideration.
For additional information, contact Dr. Earl Chilton at 512-389-4652; earl.chilton@tpwd.texas.gov or Ken Kurzawski, 512-389-4591; ken.kurzawski@tpwd.texas.gov.
Exotic aquatic plant public meeting locations:
All meetings begin at 7 p.m.
January 11, 2011
Bass Pro Shops, 5000 Katy Mills Circle
January 13, 2011
TPWD Headquarters, Commission Hearing Room, 4200 Smith School Road
San Antonio
January 18, 2011
Lions Field Adult Center, 2809 Broadway Street
Fort Worth
January 19, 2011
Cabela’s, 12901 Cabela’s Drive

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Dec. 29, 2010
TPWD's Top 10 Conservation News Stories of 2010
Editors Note: Here's a summary of the top news stories of 2010. Details about these topics can be found in the department's online news archive.
1. BP Blowout in Gulf
Though the nation's worst offshore oil spill didn't happen off the Texas coast, British Petroleum's massive blowout of the Macondo well on April 20 sent tidal waves of environmental concerns throughout the Gulf Coast region that biologist fear will be felt for years. Shortly after the blowout and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers and sent an estimated 10 million to 20 million barrels of crude into the gulf, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists joined with other state natural resource agencies to collect water samples at 21 spots along the Texas coast that can be used as a baseline record in case of any future impact from the spill.
The December 2010 issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine publishes two in-depth articles that explore with various experts possible long-term impacts to marine life - both Gulf wildlife and deep-water ecosystems - resulting from the Deepwater Horizon blowout.
--Biologists sampling Texas Cost to prepare for oil spill impacts
--Gulf Spill Impacts Explored in December Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine
2. Boating Death Cold Case Warms Up
A two-week investigation by TPWD game wardens and Internal Affairs, following an Operation Game Thief tip received in November, led to the Dec. 7 arrest in a Lake Buchanan boating death that had foiled investigators for eight years. Travis Aaron Marburger, 36, of Bertram, was charged with manslaughter in the May 3, 2002 boating death of 18-year-old Justin Wayne Roberts, who died when a speed boat slammed into the boat he and two classmates had been fishing from. The hit-and-run boat was never found, but was believed to be the damaged speed boat dug up by game wardens on Marberger's property in rural Burnet County.
--Search Warrant Under Way for 8-Year-Old Boating Fatality Case
3. Significant Land Acquisitions Expand Texas State Park Acreage
A proposal for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to negotiate a land deal with a private Val Verde County landowner that would include exchanging the existing Devils River State Natural Area as a partial payment toward purchasing the rancher's larger downriver property for a new state park or natural area brought an outcry from constituents concerned about the deal and how swift it was moving along. The item was pulled from the Nov. 4 Commission agenda and a special meeting was rescheduled for Dec. 20. Commissioners authorized the acquisition of nearly 18,000 acres of biologically diverse and culturally significant land in Val Verde County with 10 miles of frontage along the pristine Devil's River by leveraging $4 million in public dollars with more than $10 million in private donations. The donations also will cover operating expenses for two-and-a-half years, as well as development of a master plan for joint public use of the ranch and Devils River Natural Area, 12.7 miles upstream.
--TPW Commission Approves Devils River Land Deal
Two land acquisitions -- one for 177 acres that included the iconic bluff known as Old Baldy and the other for an adjacent 113-acre track of ranch land contiguous to the park's southern boundary, resulted in the expansion of popular Garner State Park to more than 1,600 acres.
--Land Deal Adds Old Baldy to Garner State Park
--Land Purchase Okay Will Expand Garner State Park
4. TPWD Reaches Milestones
2010 saw a number of notable milestones reached by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Sea Center Texas recorded its 1 millionth visitor, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center accepted the 500th Sharelunker, the Texas Outdoor Family program introduced the joys of camping to its 1,000th family and Texas hit $30 million in State Wildlife Grant Funding during the 10th year of the federal program.
--Sea Center Texas Greets Their Millionth Visitor
--Toyota Sharelunker 500 Angler Collects Big Check
--The Texas Parks and Wildlife's Texas Outdoor Family Program Celebrates a Milestone
--Texas Marks 10 Years, $30 Million in State Wildlife Grant Federal Funding
5. Texas State Parks Took Great Strides Toward "Getting Better"
More than $69 million in general obligation bonds were sold to fund more than $69 million in repairs and renovations to state park infrastructure that commenced in the spring. TPWD began spending the bulk of the voter-approved Proposition 4 bond monies ($44 million) for capital repair projects at more than 40 parks. The Legislature also approved the sale of $25 million to dry berth the Battleship Texas, a portion of which went to hiring an architectural-engineering firm in October to begin planning work on the project. MESA Design Group of Dallas was hired to lead a master planning and design team to guide redevelopment of hurricane-ravaged Galveston Island State Park, and public meetings held to receive public input. TPWD conducted legislative briefing tours during the fall at Bastrop State Park and three four state parks to showcase improvements taking to upgrade bathrooms, campsites, cabins, water and wastewater facilities, and make more facilities compliant with the American Disabilities Act.
--Spring Brings Host of Texas State Park Repair Projects
--Battleship TEXAS Dry Berth Contract Signed
--Planning Firm Hired for Galveston Island State Park Redevelopment
6. The Year Brought New Faces to TPWD
State Parks Director Walt Dabney retired after guiding the division through rocky waters for 11 years and was replaced with state park veteran Brent Leisure, who took over command in August. Internal hires also filled empty director slots in the Inland Fisheries Division (Gary Saul) and Coastal Fisheries Division (Robin Reichers).
--Texas State Parks Director Ending 11-Year Tenure
--New State Parks Director Named
--Gary Saul Named TPWD Inland Fisheries Director
--Reichers Named TPWD Coastal Fisheries Director
7. The Year Added New Places to TPWD
The long-awaited first phase of the state-of-the-art Texas Game Warden Training Academy, located on a 220-acre tract near Star in rural Hamilton County, was dedicated on May 12. And, in far western Kerr County, the 8,000 square-foot Lee and Ramona Bass Conference Center was unveiled three months later at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area.
--Grand Opening of New Game Warden Training Center Set
--Kerr Wildlife Management Area Conference Center to be Dedicated August 27
8. The Texas Outdoor Expo Hits the Road
TPWD decided to take its suspended annual Austin-based Texas Parks and Wildlife Expo and debut its new Life's Better Outside® Experience as part of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in February. The new event, which introduces people of all ages to fishing, archery, birding, rock climbing, camping and other outdoor-type experiences, also hit the road to Houston, Corpus Christi and Longview.
--Texas Parks & Wildlife Takes Expo on the Road
9. Hammer Comes Down on Illegal Deer Traffickers
A father and son in Hunt County who illegally transported white-tailed deer across state lines received 30- and 27-month sentences respectively, were forced to pay restitution and are serving their sentences in a federal prison. TPWD worked with three other agencies for four years to put together the case of transporting stolen property and wildlife trafficking against James Dwayne Anderton, 49, and Jimmie Wallace Anderton, 26, both of Quinlan. The illegally transported deer had to be euthanized in December to insure they did not carry the deadly Chronic Wasting Disease.
--Texas Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Deer Trafficking
10. TPWD Serves Up Tasty Trail Mix
Two new paddling trail systems in and around Martin Dies Jr. State Park dedicated on Dec. 16 became the latest entries into the ever-expanding Texas Paddling Trails system. The Texas Paddling Trails program, which began in 1998, helps promote habitat conservation through sustainable economic development, while providing additional recreational opportunities to the public.
In November, TPWD learned that Big Bend Ranch State Park's Fresno - Saucedo Loop Trail had been designated an "Epic" ride by the International Mountain Biking Association. The state park's Epic ride trail, one of only two such trails in the southwestern Unites States and less than 50 Epics in the U.S. and Canada, puts the Fresno - Saucedo Trail in elite company and is sure to draw a host of mountain bikers to the far West Texas wilderness park.
--December 16 Dedication Set for Four New Paddling Trails
--Big Bend Ranch State Park Trail Designated As "Epic" Ride