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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [TH]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — March 3, 2008

Nominations Sought for Environmental Flows Committees

AUSTIN, Texas — Anglers, paddlers, birders, waterfowl hunters, scientists and other conservation-minded Texans are invited to nominate representatives to local stakeholder advisory committees charged with determining and recommending flow regimes adequate to "support a sound ecological environment" for Texas rivers, bays and estuaries.

Created under 2007’s Senate Bill 3, these stakeholder committees represent the first step in a new regulatory process intended to determine the amount and distribution of water necessary to protect instream flows, freshwater inflows to bays and estuaries and related fish and wildlife habitat. Ultimately, the stakeholder recommendations will be considered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) when it promulgates rules to implement environmental flow protection.

Nominations are sought for the Basin and Bay Area Stakeholders Committees addressing two river/bay systems, the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers and Galveston Bay system, and the system consisting of the Sabine and Neches Rivers and Sabine Lake Bay. Also sought are nominations for the Texas Environmental Flows Science Advisory Committee that will serve as an objective scientific body to assist the statewide Environmental Flows Advisory Group on issues relating to the science of environmental flow protection.

The Science Advisory Committee will provide overall direction and coordination of the technical work supporting the local stakeholders committees. Nominations will be accepted through the close of business March 14.

To ensure a balance of interests are represented on the stakeholder committees, nominees representing the following areas are sought: agricultural irrigation, recreational water users, municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, industrial water users, commercial fishermen, public interest groups, regional water planning groups, groundwater conservation districts, river authorities and other conservation and reclamation districts with jurisdiction over surface water, and environmental interests. Science Advisory Committee nominees should have technical expertise in hydrology, hydraulic, water resources, aquatic and terrestrial biology, geomorphology, water quality, computer modeling, and other areas pertinent to the evaluation of environmental flows.

Nomination letters should be mailed to the Environmental Flows Advisory Group, c/o Kathleen Ramirez MC-154, TCEQ, PO Box 13087, Austin, TX 78711-3087 or e-mailed to watsup@tceq.state.tx.us with the word "Nominations" in the subject line of the message.

Nominations should note the specific committee of interest and include the nominee’s name, address, phone number(s), fax number and e-mail address and should indicate whether the nominee has expressed a willingness to serve. Finally, the nomination should indicate which interest or area of expertise the nominee would represent from those listed above and include a very brief statement of each nominee’s background and qualifications.

For answers to any other questions about the nominations process or the Environmental Flows Advisory Group, call Kathleen Ramirez at (512) 239-6757 at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or the TCEQ Water Supply Division at (512) 239-4691.

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