When it comes to water, everyone is a stakeholder. People, businesses, cities, plants, and wildlife all depend on water for survival. Through our work with the Texas Water Action Collaborative, (TxWAC) we bring together corporate and conservation leaders, community members, and policy experts to join the dialogue for Texas’ water future.
But It takes more than awareness and education to make waves in securing a precious natural resource like water. TxWAC matches funders to on-the-ground conservation projects that align with their priorities and benefit water quality, volume, and resilience.
What happens when we convene the brightest minds with the strongest resources? What does successful matching of projects between business leaders and conservation look like? And what benefits do communities see from these partnerships? Below are a few success stories, where corporate investments in conservation resulted in measurable benefits for natural resources:
Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) – Ducks Unlimited:
In 2021, PepsiCo & Meta supported the construction of 206 new wetland acres in a WMA that will filter 200 million gallons of water annually. Wetlands are like sponges – they reduce sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorous levels in water. This natural filtration system helps improve water quality for downstream water users and creates healthier habitats for wildlife. This WMA has ~5,000 visitors annually that enjoy hunting, bird watching, fishing, horseback riding, and more. Learn more.
Port of Houston TREES (Tree & Riparian Enhancement of Ecological Services) program – Houston Wilderness:
Shell and the Port of Houston work together on a targeted approach to plant trees that store carbon while benefiting birds and wildlife along the busy Houston Ship Channel. In the first of many projects, over 60 employees from Shell Shipping Maritime Americas and Shell Trading and Supply (US) rolled up their sleeves and planted 250 trees along the Houston Ship Channel. Once the trees from this project mature (about ten years old), they’ll collectively sequester ~38,000 pounds of carbon per year and will absorb up to 16,000 gallons of stormwater runoff. Learn more.
Wilson Creek Riparian Restoration – Texas Partnership for Forests and Water:
The Wilson Creek Riparian Restoration is a Green Futures program success story, where a $51,500 investment from Molson Coors resulted in 1,600 trees planted by 150 volunteers along 9.5 acres of Wilson Creek, an impaired stream in Collin County, TX. Numbers talk, here are the resulting benefits:
- Water Quality & Flood Mitigation: In the first five years after project completion, the planted trees will help intercept and filter 462,894 gallons of rainfall and mitigate 82,077 gallons of runoff water.
- Carbon Sequestration: In the first five years after project completion, the planted trees will sequester 101,513 pounds of carbon
- Wildlife Habitat: 11 native tree species planted, that support surrounding wildlife populations
- Heat Island Mitigation: Nearby residents will experience a cooling effect from the trees’ natural evapotranspiration process. Trees will increase shade, making the park more accessible to at-risk groups.
More success stories from Texan-led conservation organizations include:
- The Coca-Cola Foundation, Silk, Google, Meta, and Microsoft Fund Longleaf Pine Restoration in East Texas
- PepsiCo Beverages and Frito Lay announce $1.2 million water replenishment project project with Texas Water Trade in Galveston Bay
- Pristine Texas Coastal Habitat Forever Protected through Conservation Collaboration
- CCA Texas Funds $20,000 for Trailers in Oyster Recycling Efforts
Examples of successful projects like these demonstrate the power of partnership and collaboration across multiple industries and conservation groups to achieve the common goals of all stakeholders involved. Texans secure access to clean water, businesses invest in the resources they need to operate, conservation organizations provide nature based solutions that deliver rich natural resources for future Texans.
Investing in water is more important than ever. There are currently 45 project funding opportunities in the Texas Water Action Collaborative project portfolio, spanning 11 of Texas’ 15 river basins, including projects led by Ducks Unlimited, Houston Wilderness, and Green Futures. We will need more collaborations and partnerships to help achieve accelerate these investments and secure a prosperous, Texas sized water future.