Endangered Golden-cheeked warblers have returned to the right-of-way (r-o-w) for the proposed SH 45 SW toll road, erecting yet another legal barrier to CTRMA and TxDOT's rush to build the toll road across the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.
City of Austin biologists have confirmed Golden-cheeked warblers on the 45SW right of way in recent weeks, and on City of Austin watershed protection lands adjacent to the 45SW r-o-w.
Austin and the Austin environmental community lost a beloved leader and friend yesterday when long-time Austin Environmental Commission Chair Dr. Mary Gay Maxwell died in a tragic auto accident in Smithville. Dr. Maxwell was travelling from visiting family in Houston to a civic gathering in Austin. In the late 1990s Dr. Maxwell, a mental health counselor, joined the Save Our Springs Alliance Board of Directors. In 1999, during a time of difficulty, Dr. Maxwell stepped in as SOS's full time volunteer executive director.
Dr. Maxwell shown here receiving an award from Brigid Shea and Bill Bunch for her service to SOS
Just before spring break, SOS Alliance filed a Texas Public Information Act lawsuit to expose secret moves to take private land for a 142-mile pipeline that would deliver Carrizo Wilcox groundwater from northeast of Austin all the way to San Antonio and into the Hill Country. This is just one piece of a regional coalition effort to “oppose the San Antonio hose.” Read the lawsuit pdf here (3.46 MB) and the press release pdf here (70 KB).
Long-time SOS Board member and transportation activist Roger Baker published an in-depth look at our broken system of transportation planning in Austin and across the state.
Baker argues that Austin should learn from Houston's mistakes and follow the lead of recently elected Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in prioritizing projects that reduce single-occupancy vehicle travel. Read it HERE.
The Meadows Center for Water & the Environment published a research paper by hydrologist Doug Wierman titled “Has the Highway 290 Pipeline Contributed to Increased Groundwater Pumpage in Northern Hays County?” SOS Alliance joined with the Hill Country Alliance and the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association to help fund this project. SOS's GIS specialist, Stephen Ramirez, contributed mapping to the report. The report concludes that construction of the waterline, which delivers Lake Austin water to Dripping Springs and points in between, has spawned more well drilling and pumping of limited groundwater supplies in the area.