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February Meeting Reports
Posted on Feb 29th, 2012

These reports are a way to let the public know what F.O.R.’s  been up to. It’s also a way that someone can determine if there is any way they’d like to get involved in things. Please contact F.O.R. (Use "Volunteer" on the drop down list) if you are interested.
San Bernard Water Protection Plan Stakeholder's Meeting
Thu, Feb 16, West Columbia Civic Center
Attendees: F.O.R. Directors John WallaceValroy Maudlin and wife Adalia, San Bernard Stakeholders Tom Ronaye, Ken and Linda Wright
Tom Ronaye reports that so far, the WPP project has determined the major factors contributing to bacteria levels in the river and identified best management practices (BMP's) to deal with them.  Attendees had the opportunity to rank proposed activities to implement the BMP's, and Andrea Tantillo of H-GAC polled the group for information about how they will use the plan and what they see as most important in making the plan successful.  Aubin Phillips, H-GAC Senior Environmental Planner, also informed attendees about other projects in the San Bernard Watershed for which H-GAC has recently received funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.  The next Watershed Protection Plan Stakeholders Update will be hosted by H-GAC on Thursday, April 26th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the West Columbia Community Center.  Anyone interested in the health of our river is invited and encouraged to attend.
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers & F.O.R. Mouth Committee
Wed, Feb 22, Galveston
Attendees: Nick Fratila and Mike Goodson met with Michelle Matte, USACE Operations Manager
Nick Fratila reports that there is no money budgeted at the Galveston office for opening the San Bernard River mouth, including any funds required for an environmental study. This new environmental study would be a permanent base study that would only require review and updates. Any funds for the mouth improvement will have to come from other sources.
Lobbying of elected officials by concerned people including F.O.R. and the barge industry is required. Note: with Ron Paul not running as our representative, Kay Bailey Hutchison not running as our senator, the only remaining person with seniority is Senator Cornyn. It appears that we will need to wait until after the elections of 2012 in order to know with whom we must deal.
It also appears that the work for opening the mouth may take at least five years because the environmental study itself requires three years for performing.
The Greater 288 Partnership Parks and Open Space Committee
Wed, Feb 22, Panera, Pearland
Attendees: F.O.R. Directors George Zwicker and John Wallace
One of the goals of this committee is to identify the need for major drainage improvements in the region. Map. This could eventually impact the San Bernard. F.O.R. is listed on the "partner's list".
George Zwicker reports that the word of the moment was connectivity with regard to highways, drainage, bridges, etc., and how they will connect with parks, trails, open space, and impact safety and quality of life.
The 288 Toll Road is advancing quicker than expected. It will run from the Beltway to Highway 6 in the first phase. 
The National Recreation Area involving the seven coastal counties was discussed. There is a need for a champion in Congress. There is a need for marketing, money, rules and regulations, all with an emphasis on connectivity.
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