Tag Archives: Watershed Protection Department

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 the…

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

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 last…

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 for…

Tuesday, June 2, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission says Public Works project ‘flies in the face’ of environmental regulations

In order to create easy access and support increased traffic headed to a new Habitat for Humanity development in Southeast Austin, the Public Works Department is working on constructing a road that crosses a “classified waterway.”Under city code, a classified…

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Watershed Protection Department debuts new pollution spills map

When the Watershed Protection Department went to renew the city’s permit to discharge under the Texas pollutant discharge elimination system this past year, it found new requirements. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently changed its rules to require cities…

Friday, March 6, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Watershed Protection to begin multiyear study of trash in waterways

With trash and contaminants like dockless scooters rapidly accumulating in city creeks and rivers, Watershed Protection is kicking off a two-year, three-part study to better understand the impact of litter on city waterways.The study begins this month with a background…

Monday, January 27, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Austin to spend up to $4 million to tackle zebra mussel problem

Austin City Council has approved spending up to $4 million over the next five years on a liquid compound to remove zebra mussels from water intake systems.Zebra mussels are small invasive mollusks that can clog the pipes that pull water…

Thursday, October 3, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City reaches milestone for cave site restoration plan

City staff members have completed a draft land management plan to protect the city’s natural resources at the William H. Russell Karst Preserve, the 191-acre Southwest Austin site previously known as the Blowing Sink Research Management Area.The natural features of…

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends Council include Atlas 14 update in code rewrite

Atlas 14 is a historical rainfall study that alters the city’s flood plains drastically, showing that Austin is projected to receive a 30 percent increase in rainfall. Nevertheless, the study is not something that can change development on its own.To…

Monday, July 22, 2019 by Austin Monitor

Austin Monitor Radio: Stream ecologist Mateo Scoggins

This week, Mateo Scoggins, who is a stream ecologist with the city’s Watershed Protection Department, sits down with Austin Monitor reporter Jessi Devenyns. Listen in below to learn all about the city’s natural waterways, their current and future health, and…

Monday, June 10, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Shoal Creek Trail solution coming to Council

After a catastrophic landslide carved a 30-foot-high cliff through residents’ backyards along Shoal Creek last year, the city sprang into action to devise a plan to stabilize what was left. However, the slope shifted again this spring, leaving Austinites wondering…

Monday, May 20, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Despite zebra mussels, Austin’s waterways seeing a recovery trend

The news is full of horror stories about zebra mussels invading intake pipes and sediment causing city water to be of questionable quality. Yet statistics show that, overall, the waterways of Austin are regaining their health.According to Mateo Scoggins of the…

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Council wants more cooperation, action at watershed homeless sites

City Council members sitting on the Health and Human Services Committee told city staff last week they want more urgency and cross-department team work in the execution of a new pilot program to clean up homeless encampments located in the…

Monday, February 11, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Watershed department works with city to clean up homeless camps

The number of people experiencing homelessness is growing in the city of Austin. Last fall, recognizing the crisis on the streets and the pressure on city resources, City Council approved an increased budget to help relieve the situation.In addition to…

Friday, July 20, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

City’s new flood plain maps would affect building regulations

New federal data on Austin’s rainfall patterns will cause the city to expand the size of areas in the 100-year flood plain and likely lead to a change in development requirements for properties exposed to flash-flooding risk.The city’s Watershed Protection…

Monday, July 16, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

Austin Monitor Radio: Environmental Officer Chuck Lesniak

After 28 years with the city, Environmental Officer Chuck Lesniak is retiring. In this week’s show, he sits down with freelancer Caleb Pritchard and editor Elizabeth Pagano to talk about the lessons that he’s learned during his time at the…

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Watershed Protection budget accounts for approval of CodeNEXT

This year, as the Watershed Protection Department goes through its annual budgeting cycle, things are looking good.At the June 6 meeting of the Environmental Commission, Watershed Protection staff presented an overview of its upcoming projects and the related finances. According…

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin’s cave frontier gets slowly uncovered

Austin is home to a complex of underground aquifers that we know are filled by a system of underground caves. However, if we know that to be the case, why we don’t see caves everywhere?“Basically, because all of them were…

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