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Thank you Barrow Foundation!

FlatsWorthy is beyond grateful for the generosity of The Barrow Foundation! Thank you for having faith in us to make a difference to better our Texas coast. The Barrow Foundation does so much to support our local community & we look forward to making you proud.  

Barrow Foundation Grant Awarded to FlatsWorthy

FlatsWorthy is honored to announce a generous donation from the Barrow Foundation. Roxann Day is the chairman with trustees Frank Baker and Jasper Neath. It is an Aransas County foundation with its Goal of supporting projects within the area. We look forward to a long successful relationship together. We appreciate their support of and trust in FlatsWorthy and our mission.

Oyster Update: TPW Commission Approves Closure

November 3rd was a banner day for conservation as TPW Commission voted unanimously to approve the closure of the Mesquite Bay complex as well as the restoration reefs. We traveled to Austin to give our statements of support on these matters directly to the TPWD commissioners, and walked away victorious. This is a huge win for our bays and FlatsWorthy, and it could not have been possible without your support. We want to thank all of you for your help in achieving this goal over the last year and were looking forward to effecting more positive changes in the future! We share this victory with Shane Bonnot and John Blaha, two champions from CCA Texas. Our alliance with them will lead to many conservation achievements in the future. Stay tuned as our next challenge will be in the legisalature.

Eads Family Donation

FlatsWorthy is honored to announced a generous donation from the Eads family to support the advancement of saving the oyster reefs. John Eads is an accomplished outdoorsman who is concerned about the future of our oyster resource. He has enthusiastically joined our team. Mrs. Eads is Houstonian with long-time Rockport roots. She has joined John and FlatsWorthy in this endeavor.

Tarah Munsch Receives Scholarship

On May 10, 2002, at Calhoun County High School auditorium, FlatsWorthy President Chuck Naiser proudly presented Tarah Munsch with the FlatsWorthy/Kelly Herzog Scholarship. Also present to help present were FlatsWorthy Ambassadors Madden Guevara and Nicolas Ragusin. We hope this will enable a most deserving scholar to further her studies of marine science.

Jaby Tarkington Receives Scholarship

On April 25, 2022, at Rockport-Fulton High School, FlatsWorthy President Chuck Naiser had the honor of presenting Jaby Tarkington with the Jere Parrish Youth Stewardship Memorial Scholarship (Aransas County). Jaby is an outstanding young man with a passion for our coast. He spent his youth with his father out on the water and assisting him in educating younger kids on the biology of our bay system. He is an active volunteer, member of the National Honor Society, was on the Dean’s List at Del Mar College, and a Regional Tennis Champion. Jaby plans to pursue his further education at Texas A&M University-Galveston.

FlatsWorthy Statement on Sanctuary Reefs

This statement is to highlight the importance of creating sanctuary reefs for the future health of our fishery. Our attempt is to bring this narrative to the attention of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting on January 26th.  FlatsWorthy Statement on Sanctuary Reefs The lowly oyster, submerged under bay waters, has been harvested as a food source for centuries. Coastal Native American tribes, as well as modern man, consider it a delicacy as table fare. The versatile mollusk’s value is not limited to the harvest. They are colonial in that reef structures survive as units, which facilitate the survival of spat, providing a solid base for attachment. A mud or sand flat is not sufficient. Centuries of concentrated annual growth yields vertical relief above the surrounding bottom. This structure becomes extremely resilient to the forces of nature. A vital function of oysters in the ecosystem is filtration. At an optimum, each oyster filters 50 gallons of water per day. This process reduces turbidity, removes particulates, microorganisms, and bacteria. The efficiency of an oyster is directly related to its proximity to the surface. An oyster in five feet of water is not as efficient as one in five inches. The ability of sunlight to penetrate the water is directly related to the clarity of the water, which is essential to the health of all aquatic and marsh vegetation. Structural value is the most important issue in recognizing the oysters’ overall worth. Harvest value should not remain the primary measure of value. Centuries old reef systems, remnants of past geologic anomalies, such as limestone ridges and ancient shorelines, have created flow patterns in the bay which influence currents and velocity. This affects, among other things, shoreline erosion. Think of a reef as a levee, similar to one in a rice field. Reefs are nature’s way of calming and slowing the water currents, while also creating opportunities for fishermen. Five of these systems (Second Chain, Ayers, Third Chain, Cedar, and Carlos) serve as baffles in the movement of water from San Antonio Bay through the subtle venturi in the Straits of Mesquite. They span from the barrier islands of Matagorda and San Jose Islands to the mainland. Excessive oyster harvesting has degraded three of these structures to the point that they no longer function their ecological purpose. To a certain extent, Hurricane Harvey hastened this process. We must consider the bold action of protecting these systems from destruction, from both man and nature. The recovery period for the integrity of the reefs, estimated to be 50 years, must begin now. Ayers and Cedar Reef must be declared zero-harvest sanctuaries to prevent their further degradation, and their loss of function as a baffle. The adoption of sanctuary reefs can be expanded throughout the system to ensure healthy spat is available for recruitment to surrounding reefs to continue the cycle of recovery. The time for action is now, so future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the coast as we have. Oysters are not incidental to the habitat, they are essential.

FlatsWorthy Receives Grant

FlatsWorthy is honored to be a recipient of the 2022 Harvey Weil Sportsman Conservationist Award grant cycle. We appreciate the support, as we have a myriad of projects to complete.

Seedlings of Hope

“When Hurricane Dorian laid waste to the vast majority of Grand Bahama’s extensive mangrove network, it threatened not only the ecological health of the island but also the bonefishing lodges that are the lifeblood of many of it’s communities. Now an unprecedented group effort seeks to restore what was lost – one mangrove at a time.” Read the article from Garden & Gun magazine here.

Andres Spinetti produces video

FlatsWorthy member Andres Spinetti produced this video to further the cause of conservation and enjoyment of the Lower Laguna Madre.

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