- Population growth, urbanization, land conversion, and increasing water demand threaten Texas’ natural resources.
- Environmental factors such as drought, floods, nonpoint source water pollution, and exotic species invasion have placed the state’s water supply under tremendous stress.
AgriLife Extension Response
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service delivers a wide range of
researched-based educational resources and programs on water
quality, water-use efficiency, wildlife and fisheries practices, ecosystem
and parks management, tourism and open-space planning to improve
habitat. These programs delivered more than 2,800 educational events,
planning meetings and workshops in 2019 to more than 675,000
educational and other contacts.
- Water resource programs focus on watershed health and protection, onsite wastewater treatment systems, water-use efficiency, private water wells and soil nutrient management.
- Wildlife and fisheries programs focus on restoration and conservation of wildlife habitat, disease and predator control, harvest management practices and aquaculture and pond management tools.
- Land and ecosystem programs address the ecology and restoration of rangeland and coastal wetlands, including best practices for brush, pasture, rangeland and weed management.
- Community and economic development programs bolster parks tourism, including open-space planning and outreach to support planned development and growth as well as the $28 billion outdoor recreation and tourism industry.
- Texas Master Naturalist encompasses 5,188 volunteers who help with research and provide stewardship education at nature centers, parks, and other nature-based sites totaling more than 227,000 acres.
- Texas 4-H Youth Development Program engaged more than 68,000 youth in natural resource and environmental learning activities.
- Wildlife management programs led to estimated economic gains of $14.0 million by reducing property damages from feral hogs and improving quail biology and habitat.
- Wildlife Services’ predation and beaver damage management efforts led to $52.4 million in economic benefits for landowners.
- Texas Master Naturalists contributed 491,000 hours of volunteer service in 2019, which was valued at $12.5 million.
- Water conservation programs produced estimated cost savings of $11.2 million, while groundwater protection education led to over $880,000 in economic benefits for private well owners.
- Participants in ecosystem management programs reported anticipated economic benefits of $29.2 million on 1.3 million managed acres.