Board Insights: James Fuller

The River Authority
Nov 27, 2020
General

Green kingfisher photographed on the San Antonio River near Riverdale Bridge in Goliad by River Authority Board Member James Fuller’s son James.

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 area creeks and rivers.

James Fuller

James Fuller, M.D., Goliad County

Dr. Fuller is a retired Cardiothoracic Surgeon. He has been actively involved in the San Antonio River Basin and currently serves on the Goliad Soil and Water Conservation District. He also takes part in ongoing conservation projects with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Ducks Unlimited, and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust. He has been a board member at the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) representing Goliad County since 2013 and his current term expires in 2025.

What is your favorite section of the San Antonio River?

My youngest son Jared, who is a wildlife biologist studying mussels, kayaking on the San Antonio River near our home in Goliad.

My youngest son Jared, who is a wildlife biologist studying mussels, kayaking on the San Antonio River near our home in Goliad.

The San Antonio River, from the springs of origin to San Antonio Bay, is special to me, but if I had to pick a favorite section, it would be the “Historic River Valley” in Goliad County. On the west side, Hord Creek enters the river; this is my front yard. There is a deep hole here which harbors large catfish and gar. The riparian area has massive cottonwood, pecan, willow, and elm. Deer, turkey, and hogs are abundant here. Migratory ducks and geese are common in winter. Cattle, corn, and cotton are all seen in the rich bottomland soils here. 

Of all the River Authority’s current safe, clean, and enjoyable projects and efforts, which do you think is the most impactful or inspiring?

Confluence Park_WWR001

When it comes to helping make area creeks and rivers more enjoyable, Confluence Park, the project recently completed in collaboration with the San Antonio River Foundation, is an architectural marvel and truly inspiring. When you stand under the massive “petals” and contemplate the river below it is truly majestic. It is a place to celebrate the river and also a venue for youth education about rainwater collection, permeable pavement, solar power, and trees and plants native to the watershed

Why is it important to be stewards of the San Antonio River Basin and protect area creeks and rivers?  

Stormwater runs off a sidewalk in a residential area

The San Antonio River is an ecological gem which belongs to all. It is also an important marker of health within the entire basin. We are faced with increasing pressures from growth in population, development, and industry. Industrial pollutants, stormwater runoff, wastewater, litter, pharmaceuticals, topsoil, and a myriad of others drain into our river, then into San Antonio Bay and beyond. Vigilance and a science-based approach are vital to continued protection of our treasured creeks and river.

What is a positive action someone can take to Be River Proud?

My oldest son John with my grandson. He also lives by the San Antonio River and enjoys recreating on the river with his family.

My oldest son John with my grandson. He also lives by the San Antonio River and enjoys recreating on the river with his family.

Take a child to the river! Get them in a canoe or kayak. Take advantage of the paddling trails. Join and support Canoe Trail Goliad. Youth hold the key to the river’s future. To know the river and its ecosystem is the first step in developing an ethic and culture that is “river proud.”