This series provides readers the opportunity to learn about the unique insight and experiences of the River Authority Board of Directors and their personal connection to the San Antonio River in hopes of inspiring stewardship of our creeks and rivers.
Darrell T. Brownlow, Ph.D. is a fifth generation South Texan, resident of Wilson County, and landowner and rancher in LaSalle County. Currently, Darrell is a Principal in Carrizo Consulting LP through which he consults on construction material sourcing, development, and other mining related issues both nationally and internationally. Additionally, he provides consulting services to various large energy firms and organizations as well as privately owned ranches on water supply and water management strategies related to a variety of groundwater related issues. He has been a board member at the River Authority since 2011 and his current term expires in 2025. Darrell has been Chairman of the Board since 2018.
What is your favorite section of the San Antonio River?
Without a doubt it is the SASPAMCO paddling trail. Kayaking down this natural stretch of river is a combination of biology, geology, ecology, and cultural experiences. It’s not easy but for those who take advantage of it, it’s very rewarding.
Of all the River Authority’s current safe, clean, and enjoyable projects and efforts, which do you think is the most impactful or inspiring?
When it comes to the river being more enjoyable, what the River Authority has built and is managing, is an environment for all tastes, all ages, and for all seasons. Who isn’t inspired by the Mission Reach and the more than 300 years of history represented along those banks? Or the solitude and raw nature of the SASPAMCO paddling trail? And, of course, strolling down the Museum Reach with friends on a cool evening in the fall. There are so many examples to choose from!
Why is it important to be stewards of the San Antonio River Basin and protect area creeks and rivers?
My stewardship and true understanding of the importance of protecting our rivers is drawn from personal experience. I was kayaking down the SASPAMCO paddling trail with my daughter and she couldn’t understand why there was so much trash and debris in some stretches of the river. All I could tell her is that the trash and debris was a reflection of how many people viewed the river, and I told her that the health of the river was a reflection of the health of our society. She said, “Dad, this is not right, we need more people to see this and understand what is happening and we need to do our part to fix this.”
What is a positive action someone can take to Be River Proud?
The number one action anyone can to do is to educate themselves on how the actions in your own daily life can impact the health of area creeks and rivers. Our trash disposal (or lack thereof); our wastewater and what we put in it; the types of fertilizer in our yards; and our construction practices all have an effect on the basin and the health of our rivers. But it’s not just knowing the words, it’s the action behind the words that matter. A healthy society is directly reflected by the condition of its rivers.