The Barstow Speaker Series

For eleven years, the Colorado River Alliance’s Barstow Speaker Series has hosted energetic and important conversations about water issues and the future of the Texas Colorado River. In a Barstow event, a recognized speaker or group of panelists shares information about a current issue, followed by a candid question-and-answer session with guests. Guests typically include water leaders, policymakers, academics, and representatives of the business, conservation, and philanthropic communities.

Recent Barstow Speaker Series events:

Water conversation with Lyle Larson
On Monday, October 1st, the Alliance for a lunchtime conversation that features State Representative Lyle Larson, Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and Dr. Andrew Sansom, Executive Director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. Larson discussed pressing water issues that the Texas Legislature would be tackling during session, and what the impacts for communities along the Texas Colorado River would be.

As Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, Representative Lyle Larson has one of the most important water voices in Texas. Since his election to the House in 2010, Chairman Larson has crisscrossed the state, meeting with groundwater conservation districts, river authorities, public utilities, local communities, and more. As the 86th Legislative Session approaches, the Natural Resources Committee’s interim charges include flood resiliency, groundwater management, land protection, and other issues of critical importance to long-term vitality of the Texas Colorado River and the many communities that depend on it.

A big THANK YOU goes out to our program sponsors, Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta, CenterPoint Energy, and Environmental Stewardship, with additional support from HDR and The LINE Austin. The Barstow Foundation and The Trull Foundation are generous supporters of the Barstow Speaker Series events in 2018.

Zebra Mussels in the Texas Colorado River: Status, Threats, and Potential Solutions

On Friday, June 15th, the Colorado River Alliance welcomed expert speakers to discuss some very unwelcome new arrivals in the Colorado River — invasive zebra mussels. These highly destructive and prolific critters were first confirmed in our river last summer, and now they’re in Lake Travis, Lake Austin, and Lady Bird Lake.

The discussion will included what zebra mussels are and how they got here, the economic and environmental threats they pose, what boat owners and lakefront-property owners need to know, the latest updates on where they’ve been found, and how new tech tools may help us monitor zebra mussels and potentially even control their spread.

Speakers included Monica McGarrity, Aquatic Invasive Species Team Leader for Texas Parks & Wildlife; Stephen Davis, the LCRA biologist who leads monitoring efforts across the Colorado River basin; and John Higley, CEO and Principal Scientist at Environmental Quality Operations (EQO), a start-up that is developing new technologies to help us address the zebra mussel challenge.