Our Gulf Coast not only provides our families with places to swim and play in the sun, it is also a home for whooping cranes and sea turtles, shrimp and crabs, snapper and trout. Unfortunately, BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster was only the latest blow to our coastline, which has suffered from decades of neglect, oil spills, pollution and reckless development.

A billion dollar chance

Now, BP is about to pay Texas $1 billion for damage done during the devastating spill, and that money gives us a once-in-a-lifetime chance to shore up our barrier islands, restore our wetlands, protect and preserve wildlife habitat and ensure fresh water for coastal lagoons. But developers and their allies are pushing hard to use the money on things like new roads and convention centers. That’s why we’re teaming up with coastal businesses and sportsmen to make sure Gov. Rick Perry uses the money to restore our coast.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was among the largest in our history, with an estimated 206 million gallons of oil spilled into the fragile ecosystem of the Gulf. And today, the rich habitat for shellfish, crabs, shrimp and birds continues to be harmed by oil spills, pollution and development.

Together, we can restore our coast

We can’t afford to blow this chance to stand up for our coast, but we need more people to speak up if we’re going to counter the influence of the developers. Our staff has been working closely with our allies in the environmental community, coastal businesses and sportsmen organizations, putting the issue out in the media, and getting our members to sign petitions and make calls to Gov. Perry. With your support, we can convince the governor to use the money to protect our coast.

Preservation Updates

Blog Post

National Park Service Centennial and Conservation Opportunities Ahead | Luke Metzger

Next Thursday, August 25, marks the 100th anniversary of our National Park Service. As we celebrate, we need to make sure our parks are even more vibrant and protected 100 years from now. What author Wallace Stegner called “America’s best idea,” was simple, but unprecedented anywhere in the world: treasured landscapes should be preserved and protected from private interests for all the public to enjoy, in the form of national parks.

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News Release | Environment Texas

Statement of Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger on Today's Vote by The Texas Water Development Board on the Marvin Nichols Reservoir

The Texas Water Development Board voted 3-0 to keep the environmentally destructive Marvin Nichols Reservoir in the Region C water plan.

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Headline

Southwest Austin Growth Sparks Environmental Concerns

"The reason it hadn’t been largely developed before is because it’s a really special area, the gateway to the Hill Country and it overlies the Edwards aquifer, the drinking supply for over a million Central Texans," Luke Metzger with Environment Texas said. "There’s increasing development pressure over Southwest Austin and the Hill Country. That can come with significant impact to the water aquifer."

"We, of course, are in a record drought. We need to keep every drop of water we have and keep it clean, and the more that we’re developing over an important water source, that puts the water supply at risk," Metzger said.

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Blog Post

Water Development Board Orders Study of Environmental Impacts of Marvin Nichols Reservoir | Luke Metzger

In a blow to proponents of the controversial Marvin Nichols reservoir, this morning the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) voted 2-1 to direct the DFW regional water group to do a quantitative analysis of the impacts to agriculture and natural resources if the reservoir was built. TWDB Chairman Carlos Rubinstein said that the Region C water group had failed to include such an analysis in their regional plan and that it now must do so by Nov. 3. TWDB has been ordered by a state court to resolve a conflict in the State Water Plan that includes the reservoir in the Region C plan, but explicit opposition to Marvin Nichols in the Region D (where it would be built) plan. TWDB Director Jackson joined with Rubinstein in the voted, with Director Bruun voting no. Bruun said he supported keeping the reservoir in the plan. 

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Headline

South Texas economic hopes hitched to SpaceX

Noise pollution and contamination from the chemicals sprayed during rocket launches are among the issues to consider, Metzger said. Ocelots, a threatened leopard species, face the greatest risks, he said. The animals are already vulnerable to being run over by cars, and the heavy traffic of site construction would pose an even greater threat to the spotted felines.

“An area surrounded by state parks is not appropriate for industrial activity,” Metzger said. “When Texas has such little public land — less than 5 percent is publicly protected as state parks — we need to be taking the best care of the parks we do have.”

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