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For More Information:
Jennifer Walker 512-477-1729 (office)
512-627-9931 (cell)
www.texas.sierraclub.org

For Immediate Release (Monday, April 26, 2004):

Groups Host Forum on Freshwater Inflows to Matagorda Bay

(Austin)-The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, Matagorda Bay Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy are hosting a forum in Bay City on Tuesday, May 4 to discuss the issue of maintaining freshwater inflows to Matagorda Bay. The forum will look at the link between freshwater inflows and a healthy and productive bay system, the economic and ecological value of coastal bays, and the current debate over how to assure necessary freshwater inflow to the bays.

Speakers at the forum will include Myron Hess, an attorney with the National Wildlife Federation; Andy Sansom, Director of the International Institute for Sustainable Water Resources at Texas State University-San Marcos; and attorney Jim Blackburn with the Matagorda Bay Foundation.

Hess will focus on surface water rights issues that impact environmental flows. He will also discuss a potential water project that will affect the amount of freshwater flowing into Matagorda Bay.

Sansom is a member of the Study Commission on Environmental Flows, created by the Texas Legislature last year. He will report on the work of the Study Commission and their task of recommending the best options for providing an adequate amount of water for environmental needs in Texas.

Blackburn with the Matagorda Bay Foundation will discuss how healthy bays are critical to the coastal economy.

The forum will be held at the Bay City Civic Center from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 4. The forum is free and open to the general public. Food and drink will be provided.

This forum is an activity of the Texas Living Waters Project - a joint public education project of the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, and Environmental Defense. More information about the Project may be found at www.texaswatermatters.org.

The Bay City forum is one of several being held in Texas coastal areas this spring. A forum was held in Corpus Christi in February, and a third forum is scheduled for Beaumont on May 11. Check www.texas.sierraclub.org for more information.