Multispecies and Watershed Approaches to Freshwater Fish Conservation

It’s Not Easy to Save a River

Sky Jones-Lewey

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781934874578.ch27

Abstract.—From off-road vehicle abuse in streambeds to nonnative invasive species in riparian areas, from the threat of wastewater discharge in pristine headwater creeks to proposals for burying low-level radioactive waste and landfilling of fracking byproducts on floodplains, from water marketing plans seeking to export large quantities of groundwater to bulldozing river channels, gravel mining, and diverting stream flows, it’s not easy to save a river. It is really all about the people; Homo sapiens are an essential species of consideration in any multispecies approach to conservation. The Nueces River Authority (NRA) has served as a guardian of surface-water resources in the Nueces River basin since the agency was created by the Texas Legislature in 1935. The jurisdiction of NRA includes portions of three ecoregions and 22 South Texas counties and encompasses more than 45,300 km2, extending from Rocksprings to the Gulf of Mexico. Over the past eight decades, NRA has strived to develop and implement an adaptive, systems approach that focuses on empowering people with good information and consistent messaging in order to restore and protect the Nueces River.