Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust Preservation Matters

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust has worked to protect over 10,000 acres since our founding in 2001. These protected places include farms, ranches, wetlands, rivers and other open spaces throughout our region. Each triangle, in the map below, represents a Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust Conservation Easement or Preserve. Simply move your mouse over the triangle to get more information.

See a full-sized map of our completed projects

Recent Accomplishments

  • Hold conservation easements on over 9,000 acres of land that preserves wildlife corridors, native grasses, river and stream frontages, ranches and farms.
  • Purchased 646 acres in the Guadalupe River Delta to preserve Schwing and Hog Bayous, wetland habitat, and create a corridor of protected lands. Partnerships included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) grant through the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Union Carbide Corporation, a fully-owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, and Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA).
  • Completed a water supply canal for the Myrtle-Foester Whitmire Unit of the USFWS Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The canal delivers freshwater to approximately 750 acres of wetland impoundments for waterfowl and wildlife ranging from the mottled duck, redhead duck, to the canvasback duck.
  • Worked to establish a real-time water quality monitoring network throughout the Guadalupe River watershed. A monitoring station provides real-time data for dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, specific conductance, turbidity, and flow. Partnered with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, U.S. Geological Survey, GBRA and other partners.
  • Established a partnership with the City of Martindale to preserve public park land on the San Marcos River.
  • Completed conservation easements in Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, Calhoun, De Witt, and Kendall counties.

Since 2001, Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust has:

Myrtle Foester Whitmire Unit (more info)

  • Signed an MOU between the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, GBRA and the Trust for a joint project to help meet the long-term water needs of the Myrtle-Foester Whitmire Unit at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Aransas National Wildlife Refuge adds a page on their website devoted to the Whitmire Project:
  • Received grants from:
    • the Formosa Plastics Environmental Endowment Fund Trust
    • the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)
    • the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
    • Alcoa Corporation contributes equivalent of $150,000 to $200,000 for the Whitmire Project by agreeing to move 75,000 to 100,000 cu yards (@ $1.95/cu yard) of soil to Whitmire Unit for the construction of the new canal.

Traylor Cut

  • Received a grant from the USFWS to control invasive aquatic species and to remove a sandbar at the mouth of the old Guadalupe River channel in the delta.

Conservation Easements

  • Completed conservation easements in Kendall, Calhoun, DeWitt, Guadalupe, Hays, Goliad, Wilson, and Comal County.

Workshops/Seminars/Conferences

  • Presented to the Boerne, Victoria, Seguin and Cuero Rotaries and the Blanco Lions Club
  • Presented to the Water Land People hosted by the Texas State University
  • Participated in the Land Trust Rally and hosted the 6th Annual Land Trust Conference for Central Texas.
  • Hosted workshops in Kerr, Kendall and Hays County to educate landowners about the Blanco River, State and Federal Conservation Programs, Land Trusts and Conservation Easements.

Grants

  • Received $398,627 from Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act
  • Received a $12,050 grant from the Formosa Plastics Environmental Endowment Fund Trust for the Myrtle-Foester Whitmire Unit.
  • Received a $45,000 grant through the 2005 North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) for the Myrtle-Foester Whitmire Unit.
  • Received a $37,228 grant through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) for the Myrtle-Foester Whitmire Unit.
  • Received a $213,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the Myrtle-Foester Whitmire Unit.
  • Received an $11,000 grant from the USFWS to control invasive aquatic species and to remove a sandbar at the mouth of the old Guadalupe River channel in the delta.

MOUs

  • Signed an MOU between the Upper Guadalupe River Authority, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust to make the Trust the official land trust of both agencies.
  • Signed an MOU between the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust for a joint project to help meet the long-term restoration and water needs of the Myrtle-Foester Whitmire Unit at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

Water Rights

  • A lease agreement approved between the GBRA and Thornton Family Investments, L.P. protects historic, senior water rights on the San Marcos River by assigning them to the Trust. This was a first for a Texas-based land trust. The initial lease period is five years. During this time, the rights will be held by the Trust and the water will remain in the San Marcos/Guadalupe Rivers for the benefit of all who use the river system. The Trust will make annual lease payments, and the lease period may be extended by both parties. The Thornton family are direct descendants of Ed Cape, who obtained these rights from the State of Texas between 1895 and 1905. These senior water rights are some of the oldest in the Guadalupe River Basin and amount to 70 acre feet of water per year, which is equivalent to almost 23 million gallons of water annually. As long as the San Marcos Springs are flowing, this water will be available.