The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) has invited Ducks Unlimited to their June 19 Water Operations Committee meeting in Austin, Texas. The LCRA denied water for rice agriculture uses in the Texas Mid-Coast this year, essentially eliminating 60,000 acres of important habitat for wintering waterfowl in one of DU's highest-priority conservation regions. DU Manager of Conservation Programs Todd Merendino and Director of Conservation Programs Jerry Holden will attend the meeting. Merendino will address the board regarding habitat impacts of the rice curtailment this year and discuss how LCRA and DU can work together on this and future issues related to Texas water allocation.
"Ducks Unlimited realizes there are difficult decisions to be made when dealing with limited resources," Merendino said. "Our concern is that decision makers don't realize the full economic and cultural impacts of removing rice agriculture from the Texas Mid-Coast and greatly reducing important waterfowl and wildlife habitats in one fell swoop."