Tag Archives: Watershed Protection Department

Monday, October 4, 2021 by Jo Clifton

Council OKs annexation for Bull Creek site

With Council members Alison Alter and Kathie Tovo opposed, City Council on Thursday approved the annexation of a 25-acre site at 11213 FM 620 and ensured the administrative approval of redevelopment of a wastewater lift station close to the headwaters…

Monday, September 27, 2021 by Mose Buchele, KUT

Barton Creek, Sculpture Falls closed to swimmers and pets after toxins found in the water

The city of Austin confirmed the presence of poisonous algae toxins in Barton Creek after at least one swimmer got sick. The city is warning people not to go in the water as long as the dangerous algae remain. Dogs…

Monday, September 20, 2021 by Kali Bramble

Watershed strategic plan revisions on the way

The Environmental Commission heard the first of many presentations last Wednesday as the Watershed Protection Department begins its effort to comprehensively rewrite its strategic plan for the first time since 2001.  The strategic plan update is a three-year outreach process that…

Monday, September 13, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

The battle for 3000 Funston Street

What does a house interrupted look like? On a small piece of land in West Austin, you can see the answer: Wooden boards form a rectangle in the center of the lot meant to case a foundation, but it’s a…

Friday, September 3, 2021 by Amy Smith

Watershed Protection sets high bar for restoring Waller Creek

With the city and its public and private partners out to restore and enhance the Waller Creek delta that runs from Fourth Street to Lady Bird Lake, the southern stretch of Waterloo Greenway is due for more work. This section…

Monday, July 19, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Canyon rimrock complicates reconstruction of Lake Austin boat dock

On July 7, the Environmental Commission approved a variance request to deconstruct and rebuild the Norris boat dock located at 1874 Westlake Drive. Scott Hiers, program manager for the Watershed Protection Department, presented pertinent details to the commission, including site…

Friday, July 9, 2021 by Amy Smith

Watershed Protection makes departmental changes

In response to the retirements of key personnel, and to better respond to Austin’s growth while retaining the city’s environmental identity, the Watershed Protection Department has undergone a staff reorganization, Director Jorge Morales told the Environmental Commission at its Tuesday…

Thursday, June 24, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

City begins blue-green algae mitigation at Red Bud Isle

Since 2019, dog-lovers in Austin have had to worry about cyanobacteria, more commonly known as blue-green algae, when stories came out of several dogs dying after swimming in Lady Bird Lake during the algae bloom. A particular area of concern…

Monday, June 21, 2021 by Amy Smith

Herrington leaving his environmental post for new job in Virginia

After 25 years with the city of Austin, Environmental Officer Chris Herrington is retiring and taking a new leadership position in Fairfax, Va. Herrington, who’ll be moving east with his fiancée, Kimberly Horndeski, will serve as director of public works…

Friday, June 11, 2021 by Jo Clifton

Council delays considering wastewater service in Bull Creek watershed

City Council put off a decision on whether to grant a wastewater service extension request to CWS Capital Partners in the environmentally sensitive Bull Creek Watershed at Thursday’s meeting. The postponement came after Council Member Leslie Pool announced that there…

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

City devising permanent solution to erosion threat in Guerrero Park

Southeast Austin’s Roy G. Guerrero Park is home to a disc-golf course and baseball fields and is a popular destination for birding. But according to the city, a growing threat poses a risk to the popular park: erosion. The 360-acre park…

Friday, April 30, 2021 by Seth Smalley

In Earth Day win, Environmental Commission sides with salamanders over developer

At its April 21 meeting, the Environmental Commission fielded discussion over a wastewater service extension request (SER) from a prospective developer of a property located at FM 620 and Anderson Mill Road. Kaela Champlin, an environmental program coordinator with the…

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 by Jo Clifton

Environmentalists, city say sewage will harm Barton Creek

Houston developer Stephen Cleveland has requested a permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to dump partially treated sewage into Long Branch, a tributary of Barton Creek. Although TCEQ has issued a draft permit, environmental organizations and the city…

Monday, March 8, 2021 by Harrison Young

Guerrero Park bridge delayed again

The long-awaited Guerrero Park bridge is now expected to be finished in 2024, according to the Watershed Protection Department. Watershed anticipates construction to begin next year and to take two years to complete, according to project engineer Janna Renfro. The…

Thursday, November 19, 2020 by Tara Phipps

With winter coming, city works on treatment for toxic blue-green algae

The Water Oversight Committee met the last week of October to hear an update on the toxic algae that resulted in the deaths of at least five dogs in Austin last year. Brent Bellinger, a research ecologist with the Watershed…

Friday, October 9, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Watershed Protection Department seeks to fill gaps in city regulation for creekside health

The Watershed Protection Department recently discovered two pieces of regulation missing from Austin’s land use code that could aid and restore the health of the city’s many creeks. Ana Gonzalez, a senior environmental scientist with the department, presented the issue at…

Friday, August 14, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Springdale Farm project earns variance from Planning Commission

At its Tuesday meeting, the Planning Commission passed an environmental variance for 755 Springdale Road. The applicant, StoryBuilt, has sought the change for more than a year, but the case failed to clear the Environmental Commission earlier this summer due to concerns…

Monday, July 13, 2020 by Mose Buchele, KUT

Dog owners take note: Toxic algae early warning system is in the works

The heat of summer is here and that means toxic blue-green algae may return to Austin lakes and creeks. Last year, at least five dogs died after swimming in parts of Lady Bird Lake containing the algae. This year, the…

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

City departments propose centralized trash cleanup effort to keep creeks clean

The city has taken a first look at trash in creeks and identified illegal dumping, littering, large public events and homeless encampments as the four primary sources of trash ending up in city waterways. In a cross-departmental background report posted…

Friday, June 19, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends Watershed Protection Department budget

Among the coronavirus pandemic’s many consequences is an impact on the Watershed Protection Department’s proposed budget for the 2021 fiscal year. Even with the decision to cut back in areas, the department is still proposing a $107.1 million operating budget…

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