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BCI urges San Antonio to continue aquifer protection

BCI urges San Antonio to continue aquifer protection

Crescent Hills tract, land bought by BCI The future is uncertain for San Antonio’s Edwards Aquifer Protection and Linear Creekway Parks Development programs, with both expected to run out of money by early 2016. For approximately 15 years, the programs have utilized sales tax revenue to purchase conservation easements over recharge and contributing zones of the Edwards Aquifer, protecting the water supply for a growing San Antonio. Approximately 130,000 acres of land surrounding the city have been protected so far, including land neighboring one of the world’s most important bat habitats, Bracken Cave.                                               

The future of both programs will be decided on May 9 after the San Antonio City Council agreed unanimously to give the public a fourth opportunity to vote on the sales tax initiative to support Edwards Aquifer protection and linear creekways.

“It’s hard to imagine a more important use of public funds than renewing the city’s program to ensure ample clean drinking water far into the future.  Protecting the aquifer also protects increasingly scarce open space surrounding San Antonio, which continues to be one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.  Without the aquifer protection program, saving unique natural areas like Bracken Cave would not have been possible” said BCI Executive Director, Andrew Walker.

Bracken cave flyoutBy partnering with the Nature Conservancy and using funds from the Edwards Aquifer Protection program, BCI was able to purchase 1,500 acres of land scheduled for development adjacent to Bracken Cave. The purchase ensured not only the protection of the 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats that roost within the cave, but also nesting areas for the endangered golden-cheeked warbler. This is just one example of the success of this program, protecting San Antonio’s water supply while having benefits for conservation and community. 




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