At The Nature Conservancy we love a challenge. And I think it’s safe to say that we are not alone–you love one too. How else to explain the highly successful year for conservation that was 2012?
Thanks to your support, together we met each challenge as it came head on: corporate partnerships to protect Texas rivers, land acquisitions adjacent to urban areas, oyster reef construction and endangered whooping crane protection all came together in 2012, and these were only the beginning:
The Nature Conservancy forged an important new partnership with Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which will support much-needed land and water conservation projects in communities adjacent to their bottling plants in Texas. The company pledged $1.1 million over the next four years to benefit some of Texas' most critical watersheds: the Trinity and Brazos rivers, Love Creek and the Edwards Aquifer. More than $5.5 million people living in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio benefit from water conservation projects like these.
Texas scored a big win toward a whole system restoration in the Gulf Coast this year. We worked tirelessly to help pass the RESTORE Act through Congress, which guarantees funding for critical restoration projects, and we also began work at Half Moon Reef, an oyster reef restoration project whose goal is to help oysters reestablish their numbers. Those little bivalves aren’t just delicious, they are incredibly important to the Gulf as a whole.
We also strengthened our expansive preserve system by establishing Cibolo Bluffs Preserve, located less than 25 miles from San Antonio, which will allow us to provide prime habitat for the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and protect land adjacent to the Edwards Aquifer. Created in partnership with Bexar County and the United States Army, this 1,244-acre tract also buffers Bracken Bat Cave, home to largest bat colony in the world.
This coming year, we will build on our 2012 partnerships and ensure that we connect our work more clearly and tangibly to audiences in urban areas. Roughly 85 percent of all Texans live in a city or town. In 2013 we plan to unveil a suite of urban conservation initiatives that will help protect freshwater supplies, factor in energy needs and create a framework that will lead the next generation of urban policies and strategies.
We are firing on all cylinders and can’t wait to see how 2013 unfolds. Join us for the ride!
Texas State Director