Happy Hour / food and beverages: 6-7 pm
Socializing and informal discussions on current events: 6-7 pm
Announcements and program begin at 7 pm
Program: Secrets of the Sabine. Wes Ferguson, author of Running the River: Secrets of the Sabine, will give a presentation with photos, maps, and graphics touching on history, science and environmental issues of Texas' easternmost river. Although the Sabine releases more water into the Gulf of Mexico than any other river in the state, the waterway has been damaged in recent decades by the creation of reservoirs, including the largest manmade lake in the Southern United States, Toledo Bend. Construction of dams has caused silt buildup, and it has led to diminished seasonal flooding. Those changes have harmed a number of fish, mussel and snake species in the river, triggering an ecological ripple effect through the region's bottomland forests and estuaries. From a water-planning perspective, Toledo Bend represents intriguing possibilities. The reservoir holds the largest capacity of any lake in Texas, but it is too remote to currently supply metro areas such as Austin and Dallas. As water becomes a more precious commodity, we must consider building pipelines that would transfer the vast holdings from Toledo Bend to thirstier areas of the state. Remoteness has also factored into some paddlers' low regard for the Sabine as a recreational destination. While true the river is isolated, muddy and buggy, the folks who are willing to brave the conditions will find solitude, subtle beauty, and a colorful culture of "river rats" who would enjoy the company. Ferguson is currently working on a book about the Blanco River in the Texas Hill Country. A magazine writer and freelance journalist, he has worked for the Austin American-Statesman and other newspapers.
Consider biking, carpooling, or taking Cap Metro to the meeting.
Free parking is available after 6pm on San Jacinto, Trinity, and nearby streets.