The Nature Conservancy of Texas Supports the Passage of SB 408 By Senator Craig Estes and Representative Jim Keffer

Bill aims to create additional protections for the John Graves Scenic Waterway

Austin, TX | May 26, 2011

In 2005, the Texas Legislature created the John Graves Scenic Waterway segment of the Brazos River in recognition of the highly acclaimed and popular book "Goodbye to a River" first published in 1960. This picturesque stretch of river is a national treasure which characterized by vistas of rocky hills and fertile valleys and is one of the most popular canoeing and kayaking destinations in the state.

The Legislature has recognized the environmental sensitivity and ecological benefits of this unique stretch of river. SB 408 by Senator Estes and Representative Keffer adds additional protections for this stretch of the river by prohibiting the use of airboats on the John Graves Scenic Waterway. This bill has moved unopposed through both the legislative committee process and the full House and Senate.

"John Graves Scenic Waterway is a unique stretch of river in Texas. I filed a bill that became law in 2005 creating the John Graves Scenic Waterway establishing a program to enhance water quality protection by creating specific permitting regulations for protecting this special section of the Brazos River.  It must be preserved for future generations to enjoy," Estes stated. "Airboats are detrimental to the preservation of aquatic habitats. I am proud to stand with my many constituents who desire to protect this Texas treasure."

Airboats have created a safety and noise problem along the John Graves Scenic Waterway. Airboats can damage habitat, degrade water quality, create a noise nuisance and pose a real danger to fishing and people enjoying the river in canoes and kayaks.

We commend Senator Estes and Representative Keffer on this legislation and their commitment to the outdoor enthusiasts who come from all over the country to enjoy this historic and environmentally sensitive stretch of Texas.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

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Vanessa Martin
The Nature Conservancy

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