Archive for February, 2010

North Deer Island Restoration, 2

Friday, February 26th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

[cacophony of birds] This is the ruckus you hear during spring and summer days on North Deer Island after its temporary residents—18 species of marine birds and their nestlings—set up housekeeping.

[backhoes limestone] For the past nine years, after the birds vacate in winter, the roar of backhoes spreading tons of limestone rubble along the rookery island’s shoreline replaced their calls. Coastal ecologist, Jamie Schubert.

They’re constructing a rock breakwater. And it will trip the waves, reducing the wave energies causing erosion on the island.

Pounding waves eroded the landmass, and without creating water breaks and additional nesting area, the future well-being of the island’s full-time and part-time inhabitants would be at risk.

We beefed up this side of the island with the dredge material and armored that with limestone rock. The barge wakes had kind of breeched this shoreline in here, so this project should allow this berm to reestablish with marsh vegetation, and give us a nice little marsh pond in here.

The island has been instrumental in the recovery of the Brown Pelican, and its wetland marshes provide valuable nursery habitat for shrimp, redfish and other important fish species. Preserving this rookery island means wildlife will always have a place in Texas to call home.

That’s our show… with support from the Wildlife Restoration program…funding habitat restoration in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

North Deer Island Restoration, 1

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Eighteen species of birds rely on North Deer Island, near Galveston, for nesting habitat. Yet, over time, pounding waves caused by high winds and barge traffic eroded the shoreline of this natural rookery island.

Erosion really accelerated over the last four or five years. A rough estimate is [we lose] probably three to five acres a year.

That’s Bob Galloway—Houston Audubon Society’s Island Warden. Without intervention, it’s estimated the island, located next to the gulf intercoastal waterway, would decrease in size by 30% over the next 30 years. Coastal ecologist, Jamie Schubert.

This northeastern bluff is the most visually striking area of erosion. It’s been undermined by barge wakes and northerly storms blowing in waves that have undermined the bottom of the bluff and caused collapse at the top with these shrubs and other bushes falling down.

So, Audubon teamed up with Texas Parks and Wildlife and to protect the shoreline.

What this crew is doing is they’re constructing a rock breakwater, and it’ll trip the waves, reducing the wave energies that cause erosion on the island.

We’ll have more about that tomorrow.

That’s our show… with support from the Wildlife Restoration program…funding habitat restoration in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW Magazine March Preview

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine editor, Louie Bond, says if you’re looking for a cure for cabin fever…

I think our cover story in march really addresses this with 12 great state park hikes. We have hikes for those who just like a leisurely amble to those who just want a little something more strenuous. We go across the whole state and give you an idea of what the trails are like, and what you might see a long the way.

If you’re not quite ready to get outdoors—maybe March is a little too brisk for you, you can stay home and read about one of my favorite topics—tarantulas. At one point they’re fascinating and wonderful, and they’re actually gentle giants. And then when you really read closely about them there’s some horrifying facts. Such as they liquefy their prey and suck it up though some sort of straw-like mouth, which is quite disgusting, but yet we all have to eat. So, I think we have a nice variety of things, whether you’re ready to get out in March or stay indoors and curl up with the magazine.

Thanks, Louie.

You can catch up on your reading online, too, when you go to Search through a decade of great article and images. When you’re there, you can also subscribe to the magazine, or give it as a gift.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Texas Independence Day Celebration

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Help Texas celebrate its birthday February 27 & 28, where it all started: Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS.

It’s a totally free weekend for visitors that come to the park.

Janice Campbell is an interpreter at Independence Hall, where the general convention convened March 1 through 17, 174 years ago, and set the groundwork for the Republic of Texas. You can get a sense of what life was like then when you visit the site during the anniversary celebration.

We will have demonstrators demonstrating period crafts and skills here in the park; we will have political speeches, music…just a big birthday celebration for Texas.

Texas Independence Day is March, 2—but we’re celebrating early. Campbell says it’s worth the drive.

You will be driving into and visiting an area where some of the fist settlers came into Texas and settled. This event will highlight, of course, the formation of a nation.

Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS is located in a beautiful part of the state, and easy to find.

We are located off highway 105, about eight miles west of Navasota, and that would put us about 18 miles east of Brenham.

The Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS Texas Independence Day Celebration IS February 27 & 28. There’s more information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

February 27–28, 2010 — Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS — Texas Independence Day Celebration — Free, two-day historic event celebrating the 174th anniversary of Texas Independence. Visit Independence Hall and hear the story of the 1836 Convention. Also visit Barrington Living History Farm, the recreated 1850s farm of Dr. Anson Jones, last President of the Republic of Texas where costumed interpreters tell the story of life on a mid 19th century cotton farm. The Star of the Republic Museum, which focuses on the times of the Republic of Texas, will also be open during this important weekend. Enjoy the work of various artisans demonstrating their crafts, and on Sunday, enjoy a slice of our Texas-sized birthday cake. Accessible for the mobility and visually impaired. 10 AM-5 PM (936) 878-2214.


Monday, February 22nd, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Texas Independence Day is March 2. And Washington on the Brazos is where it all started.

This town was chosen as the site of the general convention, which met on March 1, 1836, and adjourned on March 17.

Janice Campbell, an interpreter at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, says those seventeen days in 1836, paved the way for Texas future.

In those seventeen days, the elected delegates that came here, they declared their independence from Mexico; they wrote a constitution; and they elected some officers for a government. So, I guess you could say the groundwork of the government of the Republic of Texas was created right here in Washington.

Campbell says one cannot help but feel a deep connection to the past when visiting Washington-on-the-Brazos.

It’s pretty awesome to be able to walk out there, and walk along the main thoroughfare of the town and know that we are walking in the footsteps of history…right here in Washington.

Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS plans to celebrate Texas’ independence the last weekend in February. We’ll tell you about the festivities tomorrow.

It will mark the 174 anniversary of the signing of the Texas declaration of Independence.

Find details about this and other state park events on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.