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Projects

The Environmental Sciences Department regularly works on small or short term (less than 5 years) water quality, pollution investigations or scientific studies. When studies are completed, a report may be created, published or put on the Antonio River Authority (River Authority) web site. Often these projects are funded by tax dollars or grants, but they may also be funded through private sources.

Streams within the San Antonio River (SAR) watershed are influenced by non-point sources during storm events. The San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) is challenged with the task of defining stream water quality within the SAR watershed during storm events. To accomplish this, the River Authority is incorporating the latest innovative procedures to collect water quality data by implementing permanent long-term automated sampling stations designed to collect water samples under storm water conditions. Automated sampling procedures can collect water quality samples throughout the duration of a storm event, making the collection effort more economically feasible and safer without endangering field personnel during hazardous storm conditions.

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Under contract to the National Park Service, biologists of the San Antonio River Authority Environmental Services Department conducted a series of fish collections at representative sites along watercourses in or adjacent to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park properties in Bexar and Wilson counties, Texas . Fishes were collected from October 2003 to September 2004 at five sites along the San Antonio River and at three tributary sites utilizing electro-fishing and seining techniques. Fish community composition, habitat and water quality were evaluated.

The goal of this project was to develop methodologies to validate environmental flows adopted by the State. This was accomplished by first conducting a workshop with an expert panel to develop several theories on how certain chemical and physical parameters as well as biological indicators will respond to the various tiered flow recommendations. These indicators were identified by the expert panel. Then the selected indicators were studied at several sites and under several flow regimes to validate the theories and the associated flow recommendations.

The Westside Creeks are a cluster of tributaries to the San Antonio River that flow through some of San Antonio’s oldest Westside neighborhoods – a community with a rich historical and cultural background. A feasibility study was developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and San Antonio River Authority, for the ecological restoration of the Westside Creeks. However, the current

From 2002 through 2009, faculty and students from the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University conducted field, laboratory, and modeling studies to investigate the diet, behavior, and habitat of the whooping crane (Grus americana) at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), Texas. During this period the research team also conducted complementary studies of environmental conditions in San Antonio Bay.

A portion of the Upper San Antonio River, Segment 1911, has been identified by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) as impaired due to bacteria levels that exceed the state criteria for contact recreation. Also identified as impaired due to bacteria are Salado Creek, Segment 1910, a tributary of the Upper San Antonio River, and Walzem Creek, Segment 1910A, a tributary of Salado Creek. The urban environment surrounding the Upper San Antonio River has many potential sources of bacteria.

The Texas Department of Health has issued a fish consumption advisory stating that the consumption of fish from Leon Creek may pose a threat to human health due to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). This advisory extends from Old U.S. Highway 90 Bridge downstream to the Loop 410 bridge in South Bexar County. Previous