Archive for June, 2015

Restoring Oyster Habitat After Ike

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
Oyster Bed

Oyster Bed

This is Passport to Texas

Texas lost 8-thousand acres of submerged oyster habitat when Hurricane Ike blew into the gulf in 2008. Some reefs will restore naturally; other will receive some help.

24- We are trying to accelerate that that recovery effort by putting some the materials down to allow new oysters to settle on. We also worked closely with the commercial industry and got them involved in pulling their dredges up with bags off of them across some of these reefs that were marginally covered up, and to pull the shell back to the surface to provide that substrate for young oysters to attach to and start growing.

Lance Robinson is with coastal fisheries. Ike pushed saltwater and debris 15-20 miles inland, which decimated saltmarsh habitat — habitat that’s a marine nursery for sport and commercial species. Restoration work is ongoing.

12-And it took several weeks just for heavy equipment to get into the marshes to remove the mountains of debris before we could get in and assess what the other impacts were. And at that point it was just gut-wrenching.

As bad as the damage after Ike, Robinsons says it could
have been worse.

13-Both from a human impact and a natural resource impact had the storm tracked a little bit farther to the north. It would have brought the eye farther into the bay, and we would have seen a much more devastating impact.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration project supports our series.

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

Hidden Damage from Hurricane Ike

Monday, June 22nd, 2015
Galveston Island.  Steve Alexander, president of Galveston Island SP friends group.

Galveston Island. Steve Alexander, president of Galveston Island SP friends group.

This is Passport to Texas

Few will forget the images from 2008 of the devastation to Galveston Island by Hurricane Ike. Yet, there is Ike caused damage we cannot see.

06- The losses of some of the invaluable habitat associated with Galveston Bay.

Including submerged oyster habitat. Lance Robinson is with coastal fisheries. The hurricane deposited sediment on top of 8-thousand acres of oyster reefs in Galveston Bay. That’s nearly half of the consolidated oyster habitat within the system.

24-That is a huge loss of a valuable resource. Not only from the commercial fishing aspect to it, but for the ecosystem services that they provide that a lot of people don’t really recognize or really see. Such as: water filtration, providing habitat for other fish and crabs and other organisms that are associated with structures. Sort of like an oasis in a desert.

A single adult oyster filters water at a rate of about 50 gallons a day, improving ecosystem water quality.

10-The waste water treatment plants within Houston filter the same amount of water as a hundred and thirty acres of oyster reef; we lost 8-thousand acres of those reefs.

Restoring the reefs–that’s tomorrow.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration project supports our series, and funds diverse conservation projects in Texas.

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

Prescription for Nature Deficit Disorder

Friday, June 19th, 2015
Families enjoying the outdoors together at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

Families enjoying the outdoors together at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

This is Passport to Texas

A generation ago, we noticed the beginning of what would become a decline in children’s contact with nature. Since the publication of Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods, in 2005, unlikely partners have joined forces to ensure future generations have a relationship with the outdoors.

13-People who usually don’t want to be in the same room will show up–and even get to the same table. Conservatives, liberals, developers, conservationists, pediatricians, educators… Nobody wants to be in that last generation.

Louv coined a phrase to describe this estrangement: Nature Deficit Disorder.

13- Parents felt it. Kids even felt it. Teachers certainly saw it happening. But, we really didn’t know what to call it. So Nature
Deficit Disorder is a phrase that is familiar enough to be memorable, and people know it when they see it.

Research reveals time spent outdoors makes children and adults happier, healthier and smarter. Nature is good medicine.

25-There are many pediatricians that are beginning to actually prescribe nature’or write a recommendation for it. There’s a pediatrician, Robert Zarr, in Washington DC, that’s organized pediatricians throughout the Nation’s Capital, and they’ve even done a database of the urban parks in DC, so that when the pediatricians write their prescriptions for nature, they can tell that family exactly which park that they can go to. Those kinds of things are happening all over the country.

Find ways to engage the outdoors on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

Is Nature Deficit Disorder a Real Thing?

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

This is Passport to Texas

When journalist, Richard Louv, coined the phrase, Nature Deficit Disorder in his book Last Child in the Woods, he intended it to be “tongue-in-cheek. But it struck a nerve.

04-It has entered the language since then. Actually, several languages.

Louv was the keynote speaker at the annual Children in Nature Conference in in April.

21- To show you what I know about marketing, I argued with the publisher on whether that should be in the subtitle. But as I thought about it, I thought we’re not going to have a big conversation about this issue without that kind of approach. So, it’s not a known medical diagnosis; maybe it should be. It is, though, a metaphor for what we’ve known was going on for a long time.

What was going on for a long time was estrangement of youth from the natural world.

10-The activities that kids considered important–nature was sliding on that scale very quickly, and that started about 30-35
years ago. At an accelerating pace.

Since Last Child in the Woods publication in 2005, the Children in Nature movement has grown around it.

19-If children have less and less experience with nature, who will be the future stewards of the earth. Yes, there will always be environmentalists and conservationists, but increasingly–if we’re not careful–they will be carrying nature in their briefcases and not in their hearts. And that’s a very different relationship, and I don’t think it’s sustainable.

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

Outdoors with Dad on Father’s Day

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
Enjoying the Texas Hill Country.

Enjoying the Texas Hill Country.

This is Passport to Texas

Spend time with Dad outdoors this Father’s Day, June 21.

03-You never know what’s going to happen outside; it’s the wide open spaces.

Ernie Gammage is former Outreach and Education Director for Parks and Wildlife.

10-One of the things that I remember from my childhood is having the opportunity to fish with my dad. And it’s just such a quiet, special time. I mean, I can still visually see everything that we did back then.

Sharing the outdoors with dad on his special day will make lifelong memories.

08-A lot of the distractions of the work-day world, family obligations, and so forth are put aside and it’s just you and somebody that you love, somebody that you respect.

As we like to say: Life’s Better Outside.

12-I think spending time outdoors with your son or your daughter, or whoever it is, is an opportunity, especially for fathers that already spend time in the outdoors, to pass on some of the things they love and value to their kids.

That’s our show, which I dedicate to the memory of my father who during summers when mom worked weeknights, cobbled together picnic meals from leftovers, then loaded his 7 rambunctious kids and a couple of bikes into a station wagon–that had seen better days–and took us to the nearby forest preserve for al fresco dining and exploration. Thanks, Dad.

Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

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