As drought sears, parks, wildlife magazine offers water insight
AUSTIN -- As record drought heats up across the state, Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine fittingly focuses on water in an expanded 96-page July special issue titled “Every Drop Counts: The State of Water, A Decade Later.” The issue culminates 10 years of water resource coverage with articles by leading writers and experts. It’s also the first to offer a digital replica for online viewing and mobile devices, plus audio podcasts of articles.
The “Every Drop Counts” sentiment was underscored this month when State Climatologist John Nielson-Gammon proclaimed, “for this time of year, this is the third-worst drought on record for Texas.” Neilson-Gammon also noted that the recent October to May time frame was the driest consecutive 8-month period ever in Texas.
The July 2011 issue covers every type of water resource and aquatic habitat, with articles on the Gulf, springs, rivers, lakes, bays, and wetlands. It opens with the retrospective cover story “A Decade of Water” by Carter Smith, TPWD executive director.
It also brings back some luminary writers from the magazine’s first water issue in 2002, including Joe Nick Patoski penning “Groundwater Gusher” about Jacob’s Well, and Larry McKinney, PhD, who writes “America’s Sea” about the Gulf of Mexico. McKinney was TPWD’s coastal fisheries director when he wrote the opening overview article for the 2002 issue, and now he leads the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. Also in the July 2011 issue is “Keeping Rivers Flowing” by former TPWD executive director Andrew Sansom, who now leads the River Systems Institute at Texas State University.
Carol Flake Chapman contributes an article showing how “for whooping cranes and other species, life depends on Texas bays.” Larry D. Hodge’s story “Got Water?” examines how “with demands on our lakes increasing, now is the time to take care of future water needs in Texas.” Besides revealing challenges, the issue also offers hope and showcases models for improvement, as in Wendee Holtcamp’s wetlands article that details how “Texas marshes, home to a stunning array of wildlife, have been drained, dredged and carved up, but now an unlikely team is working to reverse the decline.”
With its extra pages, the July issue has breathing room to reinforce complex stories with charts and graphs, and to showcase visual beauty. Staff photographer Earl Nottingham’s photo essay “Water Parks” reveals how “water is something to celebrate as it flows through state and national parks” through a series of impressive photographs.
For more information, visit www.tpwmagazine.com.