AUSTIN, TEXAS – Today, the Shoal Creek Conservancy announced a multi-year partnership project with The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, the City of Austin Watershed Protection Department, and engineering firm Doucet & Associates to develop the Shoal Creek Watershed Action Plan. This cooperative project is funded in part by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) through a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant and the Still Water Foundation.
“The Conservancy is pleased to announce this collaborative partnership to create the first Shoal Creek Watershed Action Plan. The plan will bring together community stakeholders and technical experts to identify creative, cooperative solutions to address Shoal Creek’s challenges and create a resilient, healthy and safe creek,” said Joanna Wolaver, Executive Director at Shoal Creek Conservancy.
Shoal Creek is a highly urbanized watershed that spans 13 square miles from downtown Austin to the Domain. The 11-mile creek begins at Highway 183 and winds through commercial areas, neighborhoods and downtown before reaching its terminus at Lady Bird Lake. Shoal Creek suffers from many interconnected water-related challenges, including devastating flood events, poor water quality, erosion, loss of native habitat, and diminished spring flow. The Plan will identify solutions to these challenges that complement the City’s existing programs to improve creek health.
“The City of Austin Watershed Protection Department is excited to be a part of this opportunity to further study the Shoal Creek watershed and develop potential solutions to address flooding, erosion, and water quality issues. Our staff will be sharing data and providing technical expertise to help characterize the watershed and engage the community. We look forward to a successful collaboration with the Conservancy, the Meadows Center, and other stakeholders in this planning process, ” said Mike Personett, Acting Director of the City of Austin Watershed Protection Department.
The community-engagement phase of the project will begin in early 2018. The Conservancy and its partners will establish technical and stakeholder committees to define shared goals for Shoal Creek and a clear path for implementation. The partners also will initiate a multi-year education and outreach campaign to raise awareness about actions individuals can take to improve water quality and support a healthier future for Shoal Creek.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Shoal Creek Conservancy in developing a watershed protection plan that addresses the needs of the community as well as the environment,” Emily Warren, Associate Director of The Meadows Center said. “Our goal is to create a locally-driven plan that integrates viewpoints from all stakeholders in the community and provides a path forward for a resilient, healthy and safe creek.”
Tom Hegemier, PE of Doucet and Associates in Austin said, “We are looking forward to working with the Shoal Creek Conservancy and the City of Austin to develop a comprehensive watershed plan for Shoal Creek. This plan can yield innovative solutions to address water quality, streambank erosion, and flooding concerns while coordinating with ongoing City projects to provide a long-term project and program road map.”
Shoal Creek Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving Shoal Creek for all Austinites – present and future. To learn and support the work of the Conservancy, visit www.shoalcreekconservancy.org.
Download a PDF of the release, here.