SAN ANTONIO RIVER AUTHORITY
Artists wanted to create massive installation for downtown San Antonio’s San Pedro Creek
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio River Authority is calling for Bexar County artists to apply for a unique opportunity to create a mural for the San Pedro Creek Culture Park downtown. The segment of the creek, which is the second for the park, is currently under construction. The opportunity is open to artists who live in Bexar County and are at least 18 years old. The selected team will have to review designs with SARA and Bexar County officials, and it will be voted upon by the Bexar County Commissioners Court. SARA officials said the artwork should depict the history of San Pedro Creek.
Live Oak City Council approves sewer rate fee increase
Live Oak will pass along a nine percent sewer rate increase to its residential users as the San Antonio River Authority expands its sewer treatment plant. “This is never an easy conversation, one we don’t want to have but I think we understand the reasons for it,” Mayor Mary Dennis said to council to introduce the ordinance asking for approval of the rate increase. Council heard Leroy Kowalik, city finance director, explain the reason for the increase and the decision to shelve a 12 percent increase for a more appropriate nine percent rate. “This increase is kind of unique to the expansion project that is currently going on at the Salitrillo treatment plant,” Kowalik said. The San Antonio River Authority (SARA) began its $20 million wastewater treatment plant expansion planning in 2019.mysanantonio.com
Diversity in plant species helping San Antonio River Walk after severe winter weather
SAN ANTONIO – Brown plants have littered South Texas after many died or were damaged in February’s winter storms. But along the River Walk, the SA River Authority said they might be in better shape than they thought. However, the River Authority’s Sustainable Landscape Ecologist, Lee Marlowe, said the River Walk will still be able to support wildlife during the important spring migration. Marlowe said many of the plants that died during the winter weather are actually non-native species people may be growing in their yards. AdNow that it is March, we can expect to see a number of species migrate through South Texas.
Families invited to 3-day virtual space adventure at Planets in the Park event
The San Antonio River Authority is welcoming all children and their families to take part in a three-day, virtual space adventure. SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio River Authority is welcoming all children and their families to take part in a three-day, virtual space adventure. This is the sixth year for SARA’s Planets in the Park event, which is set for Feb. 26 -28. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s event will be in a virtual capacity instead of being held at Helton Nature Park. The event will be virtual on the river authority’s Facebook page, which can be found here.
River Authority investigating deaths of fish in San Antonio River due to freezing temperatures
click to enlarge Katie HennesseyFebruary's winter storm didn't just cause suffering to Texans that lost power and water; it also harmed the local fish population.The San Antonio River Authority is looking into the deaths of fish found floating along the San Antonio River Walk, which it says were casualties of freezing temperatures, not poor water quality.Dead fish have been seen floating in the San Antonio River due to uninhabitable water quality before, such as when an ammonia spill in San Pedro Creek killed more than 5,000 fish last July . This time, however, the fish floating lifeless in the downtown waterway were the result of temperatures in their habitat remaining below 50 degrees for a prolonged period, SARA officials said.SARA reported that non-native tropical fish such as the blue tilapia and Plucostomus, or suckermouth catfish, can die when temperatures remain that low. The freezing temperatures also harmed native species, according to officials.The Watershed and Parks Operation Department are working to remove dead fish from the San Antonio River. SARA asks members of the public to report dead fish sightings to its Environmental Investigations team online or by calling (866) 345-7272.sacurrent.com
Fish found dead along San Antonio River, Texas coast after freezing weather event
The Environmental Sciences Department is continuing to monitor the sightings, and officials said the dead fish are not caused by poor water quality. Anyone who spots dead fish along the river is asked to contact the River Authority’s Environmental Investigations team online or by calling 866-345-7272. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said fish on the Texas coast first started dying off on Feb. 14. Among the fish species impacted were spotted seatrout, red drum, sheepshead, grey snapper, snook, black drum and tarpon. Other wildlife species impacted by the storm include axis deer, blackbuck, nilgai antelope and multiple bird species, according to TPWD.
Enchanted Rock announces park closure due to wintry weather
Enchanted Rock announced it will be closed for the day on its Facebook account on Friday. The park wrote the ice accumulations made conditions at the park hazardous for visitors. CPS Energy also told MySA.com it has not closed its San Antonio lakes, Calaveras Lake and Victor Braunig Lake, but will let the public know if it does. Parks include Confluence Park, portions of the Mission Reach section of the San Antonio River Walk, River Crossing Park, and Roosevelt Park. "We advise you to be very cautious when using all parks and trails this weekend," the river authority stated in its post.mysanantonio.com
San Antonio River Authority conducts prescribed burn in Mission Reach area
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio River Authority conducted a prescribed burn Tuesday in the Mission Reach area. The burn is part of ongoing maintenance and helps with vegetation management efforts, officials said. Park trails in the Mission Reach area were closed to the public while the burn took place. SARA officials contracted with Raven Environmental Services and coordinated with the San Antonio Fire Department, Bexar County and the National Park Service for the prescribed burn.
San Antonio River Authority releases inaugural Basin Report Card
As part of the San Antonio River Authority’s commitment to safe, clean, enjoyable creeks and rivers, the agency created the San Antonio River Basin Report Card. The expert engineers, scientists, technical and specialized staff of the River Authority exercised their best professional judgment to determine the most meaningful list of indicators for this inaugural river basin report card. For this inaugural San Antonio River Basin Report Card, the overall basin grade is 66.2. Given the broader spread in scores, the overall river basin report card numeric score of 66.2 equates to a “B” grade. The River Authority intends to issue future river basin report cards each September to correspond with World Rivers Day.
San Antonio River Authority releases inaugural Basin Report Card
As part of the San Antonio River Authority’s commitment to safe, clean, enjoyable creeks and rivers, the group created the San Antonio River Basin Report Card. The expert engineers, scientists, technical and specialized staff of the River Authority exercised their best professional judgment to determine the most meaningful list of indicators for this inaugural river basin report card. For this inaugural San Antonio River Basin Report Card, the overall basin grade is 66.2. Given the broader spread in scores, the overall river basin report card numeric score of 66.2 equates to a “B” grade. The River Authority intends to issue future river basin report cards each September to correspond with World Rivers Day.
‘There’s no place for this in the River Walk,': SA River Authority says wakeboarding is illegal at city parks
SAN ANTONIO – Wakeboarding may be a fun, enjoyable water sport but there is no place for it at the San Antonio River Walk or the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, the San Antonio River Authority said. A video surfaced on YouTube earlier this week, showing a man wakeboarding on the River Walk. It jeopardizes the safety of those doing it, passersby who are out enjoying the recreational amenities, and features along the river," SARA said in a statement. If you’re looking for a safe area to wakeboard, or for more on approved recreational activities in San Antonio, click here. RELATED: Investigation underway after San Antonio Riverwalk becomes target of graffiti
UTSA researchers see success in first phase of tracing COVID-19 in wastewater
Wastewater surveillance isn’t new. Many universities across the nation have also used wastewater surveillance to track COVID cases among students. UTSA has partnered with the San Antonio River Authority to collect weekly samples over a 24-hour period from its treatment plants. The first phase included testing the Salitrillo Wastewater Treatment Plant in Converse. Researchers will now focus on the River Authority’s Martinez II Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Parts of Alamo Street reduced to 2 lanes through 2023 as construction of San Pedro Creek Culture Park continues
SAN ANTONIO – Portions of Alamo Street will be reduced to two lanes of traffic as construction continues on San Pedro Creek Culture Park, The San Antonio River Authority announced. Construction of the park is entering Phase 2, spanning from Guadalupe Street to just north of Cevallos Street. According to the River Authority, the partial street closure is necessary to begin work on replacing the Alamo Street bridge. The San Pedro Creek Culture Park construction process is phased in four total phases, with three segments in Phase 1, The River Authority said. When the four phases are complete, the San Pedro Creek Culture Park will span 2.2 miles through downtown.
Portion of downtown street will be reduced to two lanes until 2023 during San Pedro Creek project
Portion of downtown street will be reduced to two lanes until 2023 during San Pedro Creek projectBeginning Monday, Alamo Street between Interstate 10 and South Flores Street will be reduced to a two-lane road until early 2023 while construction crews replace the Alamo Street Bridge, the San Antonio River Authority said in a news release Wednesday. "It is a beautiful space for residents to interact with the art, water and culture in the downtown area," said Monica Trevino-Ortega with the San Antonio River Authority. "People remember the San Pedro Creek when it was still a drainage ditch and they have loved seeing what has come to life." Houston Street to Nueva Street will remain closed during the current phase, which is expected to be completed in October 2021. Though the Alamo Street partial closure is part of phase two, which isn't expected to begin for several more months, crews have closed Alamo, Camp and Guadalupe streets for pre-construction, Trevino-Ortega said.mysanantonio.com
San Antonio, Bexar County, River Authority parks closed for Labor Day weekend
SAN ANTONIO The City of San Antonio is joining Bexar County in closing its parks over Labor Day weekend. Temporarily closing parks encourages the community to stay home, wear face coverings, and practice physical distancing. The San Antonio River Authority announced this week that its parks will be closed including:Confluence Park (310 W. Mitchell St.)Portions of the Mission Reach section of the San Antonio River WalkPavilion along the river near Roosevelt ParkConcepcin Portal and adjoining green space near Concepcin ParkPavilion along the river between Theo Ave. and Mission Rd. Pavilion along the river between Mission Rd. SARA encourages people to wear masks and practice social distancing while on the trails.
San Antonio River Authority announces park closures for Labor Day weekend
San Antonio River Authority announces park closures for Labor Day weekendIn a news release on Thursday, the San Antonio River Authority announced it will temporarily close some of its parks as well as areas prone to large gatherings along the River Walk for Labor Day weekend. In a news release on Thursday, the San Antonio River Authority announced it will temporarily close some of its parks as well as areas prone to large gatherings along the River Walk for Labor Day weekend. Photo: San Antonio Express-News File Photo Photo: San Antonio Express-News File Photo Image 1 of / 1 Caption Close San Antonio River Authority announces park closures for Labor Day weekend 1 / 1 Back to GalleryIn a news release on Thursday, the San Antonio River Authority announced it will temporarily close some of its parks as well as areas prone to large gatherings along the River Walk for Labor Day weekend. Last week, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff also ordered all county parks to close over Labor Day weekend. The paddling trails along King William and Mission Reach sections of the River Walk will also be accessible for the public, the river authority said.mysanantonio.com
Swamp rats live along the San Antonio River Walk
SAN ANTONIO – Swamp rats are having a moment. After a story about their invasion of a Texas park went viral, KSAT reached out to the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) and learned that the orange-toothed rodents live here, too. The number of swamp rats trapped in past years:2019 - 10 nutria2018 - 60 nutria2017 - 32 nutriaDid you know the world’s largest bat colony can be found just outside San Antonio? If you see a nutria along the San Antonio River you can report the sighting to the San Antonio River Authority at (866) 345-7272 or on the SARA website sariverauthority.org/contact-us-0. “Our staff worked to find an appropriate solution to the damage caused by the Nutria-rat population in an effort to preserve the project’s ecosystem and the health of the San Antonio River.”
Ammonia spill kills more than 50 fish at San Pedro Creek
SAN ANTONIO In a statement to KSAT, the San Antonio River Authority confirmed an ammonia spill that happened at San Pedro Creek on Wednesday and is affecting fish and animals who call the creek home. Yviand Serbones-Hernandez, brand and communications coordinator for the San Antonio River Authority said in a statement that the spill is believed to have happened Kiolbassa Smoked Meats plant by a storm drain inlet on S. San Marcos Street. Hernandez said the River Authoritys Environmental Investigations team confirmed the odor and reported that approximately 50 fish were killed. Hernandez said River Authority staff has continued to monitor the area and reported an increase of dead fish on Wednesday. The River Authority was also made aware of dead fish observed at the river junction of San Pedro Creek and the San Antonio River on the Mission Reach segment.
19,500 Bluegill stocked along Mission Reach of San Antonio River and in Elmendorf Lake
SAN ANTONIO – Nearly 20,000 fish were stocked in two bodies of water in San Antonio Wednesday as part of an ongoing proactive ecological restoration by the San Antonio River Authority (SARA). The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Inland Fisheries Division stocked approximately 15,500 adult Bluegill in the Mission Reach section of the San Antonio River Walk and 4,000 Bluegill in Elmendorf Lake, according to Shaun Donovan, the environmental sciences department manager for SARA. More than 100,000 fish, including Guadalupe Bass, Channel catfish and Bluegill, have been stocked along the Mission Reach since the completion of an ecosystem restoration project in 2013, according to Donovan. He also noted that “Mission Reach has become a hotspot for birding; a three-year avian study resulted in the observation of more than 200 species.”Thousands of catfish to be stocked in two San Antonio neighborhood lakesDonovan pointed out that instream ecosystems are slower to recover despite the success with the reintroduction of plants and birds. “River Authority staff will continue with additional fish stockings and reintroductions and are exploring a reintroduction of freshwater mussels that could begin as early as 2021,” Donovan said.
Invasive snail is threatening Texas aquatic vegetation and can carry a parasite harmful to humans
Invasive snail is threatening Texas aquatic vegetation and can carry a parasite harmful to humansThe Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is warning individuals to be on the lookout for the apple snail, an invasive aquatic species. In January, San Antonio River Authority staff members found 50 apple snails in the San Antonio River when they drained it for cleaning. less The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is warning individuals to be on the lookout for the apple snail, an invasive aquatic species. This species can wreck havoc on aquatic vegetation and can possibly carry a rat lungworm parasite that can infect humans. Fifty apple snails were pulled from the San Antonio River earlier this year when staff members of the San Antonio River Authority drained the waterway for cleaning.mysanantonio.com
The Trailist Guide To Getting Outside During the Pandemic
It seems like San Antonio authorities have been trying to strike the tough balance of allowing people to get outside while also reducing the spread of coronavirus. The San Antonio River Authority decided to close its parks entirely for Easter weekend. Government Canyon State Natural Area west of San Antonio closed March 24. Most trails, parks, dog parks, and bathrooms remain open. I love how food just seems to grow everywhere in San Antonio.therivardreport.com
City parks to be closed over Easter weekend, officials say
SAN ANTONIO – Update 4/3/20San Antonio city leaders officially announced on Friday that city parks would be closed to the public on Easter weekend. Update 4/2/20:City leaders said Thursday that city parks will be closed to the public on Easter weekend. “Right now we’re looking at closing all the city parks on Saturday and Sunday of Easter weekend, starting midnight on Friday, all the parks will be closed. Easter camping is a long-standing tradition in San Antonio when the city usually lifts the curfew at parks for three nights leading up to Easter Sunday. Now, the city is looking to close the parks entirely over Easter weekend to keep people from holding celebrations and gatherings.
Bexar County Take-Over of Linear Creekway Funding Questioned
One Bexar County commissioner is asking questions about a potential proposal to have the county take over funding for hike and bike trails along local creekway parks. After the River Authority vote, Nirenberg then proposed a San Antonio Water System takeover of funding to protect the Edwards Aquifer. As of September, the Citys Parks had spent $113 million out of the $190 million for creekway trails that voters have approved four times since 2000. The City has so far built 69 miles of trails, with funding committed for another 50 miles. In his letter, Calvert asks 17 questions about the aquifer program, the creekway trails, and Nirenbergs transportation proposal.therivardreport.com
River Walk levels to return to normal after draining
Published: January 9, 2020, 4:39 am Updated: January 9, 2020, 8:54 amSAN ANTONIO – The River Walk is expected to be back to normal Thursday following a draining for regular maintenance. Crews drained the river from Josephine Street to Nueva Street Monday to make some needed repairs. Biologists with the San Antonio River Authority also removed an invasive species called the apple snail. San Antonio River Walk drained for maintenanceThe snails were discovered in October and several pink egg sacks were collected then. Water levels should be back to normal later today.
Snails, Tilapia, Scooters Pulled From Drained San Antonio River
Invasive South American snails and electric scooters are among the things crews are pulling from the dried-out bed of the San Antonio River this week after workers drained the downtown channel for the first time in four years. The apple snail, a popular home aquarium species first found in the downtown San Antonio River last year, and dockless scooters are new items on the list of what workers pull out of the river. The popular aquarium snail, native to South America, can grow to be fist-sized and drops distinctive pink egg sacs. The River Walks new snail population likely came from someones aquarium, Vaughn and fellow River Authority biologist Shaun Donovan said. The rivers ecological balance is difficult to maintain naturally in the concrete-lined Museum Reach and downtown river channel, where its easy for nonnatives to have the upper hand, Donovan explained.therivardreport.com
Get a Unique Look at the Museum Reach Light Display During Special Kayak Ride Down the River
Sure, the River Walk has been lit up for several weeks, but now's our chance to see it in a whole new way.The San Antonio River Authority has announced a special nighttime version of its Be River Proud Kayaking Event Series, which will send more than 50 kayaks down the Museum Reach portion of the River Walk on Thursday to enjoy this year's River of Lights displays. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years. Its never been more important to support local news sources. If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture.sacurrent.com
River Authority Shows Progress on Construction of San Pedro Creek Culture Park
Standing on dirt and loose rocks along West Houston Street, Kerry Averyt explained that the San Antonio River Authority has tried to be a good neighbor during construction of San Pedro Creek Culture Park. The river authority keeps an updated webpage of road closures on the San Pedro Creek Culture Park site. Mostly a lot of pottery shards.Some of the more interesting cultural artifacts will eventually be displayed as part of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, Averyt said. About 30 percent of a retaining wall in Calder Alley was salvaged to use in the creek project too, Silbernagel added. We didnt want to build something that wouldnt be functional for people who would use it.Funding sources for Phases 3 and 4 of the San Pedro Creek project are still being identified by the river authority.therivardreport.com
Alamo Colleges Sells Southtown Property to San Antonio River Authority
Alamo Colleges has finalized the sale of its old district headquarters in Southtown to the San Antonio River Authority. The river authority will pay Alamo Colleges $4.15 million in cash and give the community college system another $2.15 million in debt forgiveness. The Southtown property was the old site of Alamo Colleges administrative offices. In July, Alamo Colleges staff completed the move into the new district headquarters located on North Alamo Street, near the Pearl in Government Hill. The new Alamo Colleges headquarters features almost 160,000 square feet of space on 12.5 acres.therivardreport.com
San Antonio River Authority Votes No On Pursuing New Tax
The San Antonio River Authority decided not to further pursue an additional tax to fund an expansion of its role in cleaning and maintaining local waterways. The additional property tax would take the River Authority tax on an average Bexar County homeowners bill from from $38.58 to $90.48 per year, using 2019 property values. The tax, originally pitched to go before voters in November 2020, could vastly expand the role of the River Authority. Theres nothing to stop the San Antonio River Authority board from engaging a formal process in the spring under normal, budgetary processes, as the bulk of our projects always do, Brownlow said. Prost, a former Olmos Park councilwoman who owns her own market research company, called herself a data person and said she doesnt have enough data to know River Authority constituents think about an expanded role for the River Authority.therivardreport.com
San Antonio River Authority Board Members Balk at Tax Increase
A San Antonio River Authority proposal to more than double property taxes to expand its role in protecting the river could be dead in the water by the end of authoritys board meeting Wednesday. The river authoritys tax increase is up for debate as San Antonio and Bexar County leaders weigh unprecedented funding shifts to divert more money towards transportation. Some have suggested that the river authoritys tax increase could replace the aquifer sales tax, though supporters of a continued aquifer protection program say the river authority cant adequately replace that revenue. The river authority can only use its tax revenue in the San Antonio River watershed, not in parts of Medina and Uvalde counties where most of San Antonios Edwards Aquifer water comes from. Bexar County At-Large Director Deb Bolner Prost and Karnes County Director H.B.therivardreport.com
Izbrand, May Win Castle Hills Council Seats; SARA Incumbent Stays
Two City Council races in the politically fraught suburb of Castle Hills and a third race, for a San Antonio River Authority (SARA) board seat, were contested during elections on Tuesday. In Castle Hills, Joe Izbrand and Kurt May both easily won their aldermen races. Izbrand, who recently chaired the Castle Hills Zoning Commission, received more than 80 percent of the total vote to win the Place 1 seat and replace Clyde Skip McCormick. Gonzales said he feels his experience and leadership on long-standing issues and projects convinced voters he merited six more years with the SARA board. Lourdes Galvan, former San Antonio City Council member for District 5, won a second term with no opposition.therivardreport.com
San Antonio River Authority Exec Avoid Firing, Resigns After He Failed to Report Alleged Racial Incident for Months
A top San Antonio River Authority exec has resigned after an investigation revealed that he didn't report a potentially racially charged incident to human resources, KSAT reports John Chisholm, SARAs director of operations, was briefed on an incident in January in which a worker tied rope to resemble a noose and hung it at maintenance shop. Two other employees registered complaints, but Chisholm didnt report the incident to human resources as required under policy, according to KSAT.Officials with the public river-protection entity only learned about the incident eight months later, the station reports. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years. If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture.sacurrent.com
Top SA River Authority officials recorded discussing culture of racism within agency
SAN ANTONIO - In leaked audio recordings provided to the KSAT 12 Defenders, three top officials with the San Antonio River Authority are heard discussing a culture of racism within one of the agency's departments. It's not a good announcement that I have to make," San Antonio River Authority director of operations John Chisholm said November 19 as he opened the meeting. A day later, on November 20, San Antonio River Authority general manager Suzanne Scott addressed the same group of employees. River Authority officials have also refused to say why Gomez and Kiolbassa were terminated. However, a search of state and federal court records show no pending lawsuits involving Gomez and the San Antonio River Authority.
The San Antonio River Authority Wants You to Go Batty Next Tuesday
click to enlarge San Antonio River Authority / FacebookEvent Details 7th Annual Bat Loco Bash @ San Antonio River Walk - Museum Reach 1300 Camden St. River Walk San Antonio, TX When: Tue., Aug. 6, 6-9 p.m. (210) 227-1373 Price: Free Free and Special Events MapEvery year, 50,000 male Mexican free-tailed bats spend their summers roosting under the Camden Street Bridge along the Museum Reach of the River Walk, putting on a daily show at sundown as they leave to feed.To celebrate our furry, flying friends, the San Antonio River Authority, along with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Bat Conservation International, are back with their annual Bat Loco Bash. The free event is a family-friendly evening that includes everything anyone might want to know about bats along with a bat parade and a Batmobile replica. Food trucks and live music are also on the agenda, followed by the opportunity to set up a chair under the bridge for a firsthand look at the swirling swarm of bats leaving for their nightly pilgrimage.The event is one-night only, but those who can't make it can still get a glimpse of the bats in action for a few more months. They're expected to remain in the area through October.sacurrent.com