Friends of the Brazos sets meeting for June 21, provides update on river levels

 

The Friends of the Brazos nonprofit works to keep trash out of the river and water in it.

The Friends of the Brazos nonprofit works to keep trash out of the river and water in it.

Special to the Current

The next annual meeting of the nonprofit Friends of the Brazos will be held at Mary Lee Lilly’s house (1347 CR 401 in Nemo on the banks of the Brazos River) on Saturday, June 21.

Coffee will be served at 8:30 a.m. and breakfast at 9 a.m. The membership meeting is expected to last an hour, with the board meeting scheduled to begin around 10 a.m.

Please RSVP by email to elowe@celebrationrestaurant.com

Also save the date for the annual dinner and auction on Saturday, Oct. 18, at the same location.

Ed Lowe, Friends of the Brazos’ president, reported that the group’s 11th Annual Brazos River Clean-up on April 5 was another success.

“We had 185 volunteers, including four Scout groups,” Lowe said in an email memo to members. “We removed another 100 tires and hundreds of pounds of trash. The Brazos between U.S. Highway 67 and Brazos Point is much more scenic due to our efforts over the years.”

Lowe added that special thanks go to clean-up sponsors Cedars on the Brazos, Riverbend Resort, Low Water Canoes, Rhodes Canoes, Ranch House BBQ, Tres Rios, Ben E. Keith, U.S. Foods and Sysco Foods.

As for the low water levels on the Brazos and at area lakes, Lowe said the low flows for the past two years “are discouraging and disappointing for all of us. While we all can agree that the Brazos River Authority has over-allocated Brazos water to the detriment of the river, it’s my opinion that these flows are more the result of the extreme drought in the Brazos basin.

“Lakes Granbury and PK (Possum Kingdom) are at or below record lows,” he added.

A copy of a brief overview of the status of BRA’s water right application (Systems Operation Permit) is available by emailing info@friendsofthebrazos.org.

Lowe said he worked with other members to form a coalition on the Senate Bill 3 Brazos Bay and Basin Stakeholders Committee to recommend strong protection for the Brazos to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ.

“We were successful getting good protection for the Middle Brazos (PK to Waco) into our recommendations to TCEQ,” Lowe said. “In fact, TCEQ recommended adoption of these flow levels into BRA’s Systems Operation Permit.”

Friends of the Brazos, along with National Wildlife Federation and Dow Chemical Co., successfully contested and effectively blocked issuance of the permit, he added. The end result of  legally contesting the permit and the Brazos stakeholders committee recommendations will be to “protect the Middle Brazos from future over-allocation of precious Brazos water,” he said.

 

 

 

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