Environment

Environment
1:47 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, Unless You’re Plagued By Allergies

Cedar pollen can often be seen bursting into clouds like this one from scrub cedars in the Texas Hill Country.
Credit Flickr - salaamministries.com

If it's getting close to Christmas, it's also getting nearer to the year's worst allergy season for San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country.

Copious amounts of cedar pollen are expected to blow in on the first cold front, draping yellow blankets of the dusty stuff on cars and other surfaces.

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Environment
12:58 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Post-BP Plans For Gulf Coast Restoration

Credit Chris Eudaily / TPR News

It’s been over 4 years since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and BP oil spill. The underwater gusher pumped crude into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days and is considered the worst maritime oil disaster in history. The US Government estimated the total discharge at 5 million barrels. But that number is uncertain and there are some reports that the well site continues to leak oil into the Gulf.

In November 2012, BP and the Department of Justice reached a settlement and in part agreed to a record-setting $4 and a half billion dollars in fines and other payments.

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Environment
12:32 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Denton Fracking Ban Heading To Court

Frack Free Denton protest
Credit Flikr Joshua http://bit.ly/1rpsQHs

 Anti-fracking activists took their concerns to the voters of Denton, Texas in the recent November general election and passed a city fracking ban. It went into effect on December first. But industry leaders and the Texas Rail Road Commission say that doesn’t matter. They say it’s still “drill baby drill” for Denton. The Texas Oil and Gas Association and the Texas General Land Commission are now suing Denton over the frack ban. Cathy McMullan is the president of Frack Free Denton.  

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Environment
12:06 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Is Fracking Linked To Birth Defects?

Chemical warning signs welcome visitors to fracking site in Gonzalez County.
Credit David Martin Davies

A new report released this week adds to the growing evidence that the chemicals associated with fracking and horizontal drilling could be a danger to reproductive health to animals and humans. The study was conducted by the Center for Environmental Health.  Susan C.

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Environment
11:48 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Nordheim Waits For Word On Fracking Fate

Anti-Fracking waste pits protest signs have popped up around Nordheim.
Credit David Martin Davies

Sometime in November the one billionth barrel of oil was pumped out of the Eagle Ford Shale play – that’s according to the research firm Wood Mackenzie.

More than 70 percent of that production has occurred in the last two years.

The milestone comes at a time when oil prices are going through a steep drop. Right now a barrel of U.S. crude is going for under 70 dollars a barrel. And many in the industry have discussed plans to pull back on U.S. shale production.

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Environment
11:49 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Balancing Rural And Urban Water Needs

Difficult decisions lie ahead as urban areas demand more water, rural areas experience loss of spring flow, and our region faces increased challenges brought by population growth and drought. Are Central Texas’ water planning processes on track to balance the needs of its rural and urban users and protect the natural water resources that sustain our ecologic and economic health?

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Sustainability
4:25 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

You Don't Need To Live In Seattle To Have A Rain Garden

Rain Garden
San Antonio River Authority

Recent Rains have some of you thinking about fall in your garden and what you should do there. I've found a fascinating project that you didn’t even know you needed. It’s called a rain garden.

“A rain garden is a shallow depression that is placed in a position where it collects storm water runoff from areas where that runoff is concentrated; like rain gutters, or off a driveway, or a sidewalk.”

Lee Marlowe works with sustainable landscapes for the San Antonio River Authority.

“And you intercept that rain flow with a shallow depression.”

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Environment
6:15 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Conservation Deal Saves Bracken Bat Cave On Halloween

Team that spearheaded the purchase of 1500 acres adjacent to Bracken Bat Preserve, L-R Laura Huffman, State Director of the Nature Conservancy; San Antonio City Council Member Ron Nirenberg; and Fran Hutchins, Director of the Bracken Bat Cave
Credit Jon Alonzo

 

Friends of the Bracken Bat Cave can breathe a little easier today, now that a threatened encroachment by a high-density housing development is officially over.

That's because the real estate deal closed Friday, transferring the land from Galo Properties to the Nature Conservancy.

Defendants of the Bracken Cave have been working on this deal for more than a year.  The effort was spearheaded by San Antonio City Councilman Ron Nirenberg, who took up the challenge to visit the cave right after he was elected in 2013.

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Environment
6:27 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Proving Aquaponics Vegetable Gardens Are Viable for Small Businesses and Families

A large aquaponics greenhouse.
Credit Marfa Public Radio

A team of scientists at Texas A&M is working on an "aquaponics” project to demonstrate a lower-cost method of growing vegetables – and raising fish.

The method is not new – but scientists are hoping to attract home gardeners and entrepreneurs to the field of soilless food production.

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Environment
3:33 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Saving the Bracken Bat Cave

Up to 20 million bats fly from the Bracken Bat Cave each night during the summer. They eat a total of 100 tons of insects from the crops grown in South Texas.
Credit Jacqueline Ferrato / Bat Conservation International

 

San Antonio City Councilman Ron Nirenberg announced an agreement last week to protect the world’s largest bat cave from encroachment by future development.

The city will join with several other entities to turn the 1,500-acre property, known as Crescent Hills, into a conservation easement that will permanently protect the area’s natural resources. 

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