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Meadows Foundation grant to support River Systems Institute

Date of Release: 03/30/2006

SAN MARCOS—A $610,000 grant from the Meadows Foundation to the River Systems Institute at Texas State University-San Marcos will help the institute study and protect the freshwater resources of Texas.

The grant will enhance efforts in three specific areas, said River Systems Institute Director Andrew Sansom.

“We will be using this grant from the Meadows Foundation to help with projects in watershed conservation, groundwater protection and in outreach and education. This is a critical time for these projects in Texas and they are expected to be key issues during the next legislative session,” said Sansom.

Sansom said the institute will expand its watershed conservation planning in the Blanco River basin to determine instream flow needs and interpret those needs to the state’s policymakers. It will also initiate a similar project in the Pedernales River basin and continue to develop a system of permanent protection of streamflows into the state’s bays and estuaries.

In the area of groundwater, the institute will provide technical assistance to the state’s groundwater conservation districts and help those districts monitor groundwater levels and implement groundwater management plans.

The institute will also expand education programs that currently exist at the university’s Aquarena Center, and develop a children’s river festival to involve school groups from across Texas.

Founded in 2002, the mission of the River Systems Institute is to develop and promote programs and techniques for ensuring sustainable water resources for human needs, ecosystem health and economic development. It’s offices are on the grounds of the Aquarena Center at Texas State.

Sansom said the grant from the Meadows Foundation is the most recent in an ongoing relationship between the institute and Meadows. Previously, the Meadows Foundation has provided $375,000 to help establish the institute and its programs and it has also awarded a grant of $500,000 to the university to develop a wetlands boardwalk at San Marcos Springs.

The Meadows Foundation is a private philanthropic institution established in 1948 by Algur H. and Virginia Meadows to benefit the people of Texas. The foundation’s mission is to assist the people and institutions of Texas improve the quality and circumstances of life for themselves and future generations.

(Contact: Andrew Sansom at the River Systems Institute at 512-245-9200)