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[00:00:02]

WE'VE GOT A QUORUM.

HEY EVERYONE.

HI.

[CALL TO ORDER]

HI, ANDY.

HOW ARE YOU ALL? ALL RIGHT.

WELL, I WILL CALL THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION, UH, ON JUNE 2ND, 2021 AT 607 TO ORDER.

UH, LET'S JUST START WITH ROLL CALL.

UH, ANDY CREEL HERE.

UH, AUDREY BARRICK.

FIXLER HERE.

UH, LINDA GUERRERO, ABSENT, UH, RE UH, RICH PRIMER HERE.

PAM THOMPSON HERE, JENNIFER BRISTOL HERE.

VERY BEDFORD HERE, KATIE COIN HERE.

AND KEVIN RAN BIRD, I BELIEVE ACCIDENT.

ALL RIGHT.

UM, FIRST UP, I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE KAYLA, WE DIDN'T HAVE ANYONE SIGN UP FOR CITIZEN'S COMMUNICATION TODAY.

OUR VICE CHAIR, WE DO NOT HAVE ANY GENERAL CITIZEN COMMUNICATION OR ANY SPEAKERS WHO ARE SIGNED UP ON AGENDA ITEMS. AWESOME.

THANKS KAYLA.

UH, THEN WE'LL MOVE ON TO ITEM ONE, A

[1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND ACTION]

APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND ACTIONS OF THE MAY 19TH, 2021 ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES THROUGH AND HAD A CHANCE TO LOOK AT THIS MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES FIRST, DR.

BEDFORD, UH, SECOND BY MR. BRIMER.

UM, JUST ALL THOSE IN FAVOR.

RAISE YOUR HAND.

AND, UH, ANDY, UH, ARE YOU IN FAVOR BECAUSE I CANNOT SEE YOU ON THE CAMERA? YES.

GREAT.

THANKS.

ALL RIGHT.

UH, MOTION PASSES TO APPROVE THE MINUTES.

WE'LL MOVE ON TO OUR FIRST STEP READING BRIEFING, UH, ITEM

[2a. Update on Palm District Planning Initiative—Stevie Greathouse and Mark Walters, Housing and Planning Department]

TWO, A UPDATE ON PALM DISTRICT PLANNING INITIATIVE.

WE HAVE STEVIE GREAT HOUSE AND MARK WALTERS FROM HOUSING AND PLANNING.

UH, TAKE IT AWAY.

THANKS.

Y'ALL GOOD EVENING COMMISSIONERS UNMARK WALTERS FROM THE HOUSING AND PLANNING DEPARTMENT.

UH, STEVIE GREATHOUSE IS AT ANOTHER, UH, BRIEFING.

SO I'M HERE IN STEAD.

SO I'M EXCITED TO BE HERE THIS EVENING, PROVIDE YOU A SHORT, BRIEF BRIEFING ON THE PALM DISTRICT PLANNING INITIATIVE.

UH, IS THE TITLE SLIDE UP? IT IS.

AND IF YOU CAN'T SEE IT, FEEL FREE TO JUST TELL, UH, I SEE FOLKS TO ADVANCE.

UM, ONE OF THEM, NO, I HAD IT UP ON MY POWERPOINT SO I CAN HAVE THE TALKING POINTS.

SO NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

UM, UM, DURING TONIGHT'S PRESENTATION, I'M WILLING TO PROVIDE A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT, INCLUDING BACKGROUND STUDY AREA, UH, SCOPE PROJECT TEAM, AND HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN THE ANSWER.

ANY QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE NEXT, NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

NEXT SLIDE.

THE FUNDAMENTAL GOAL TO PALM DISTRICT PLANNING INITIATIVE IS TO ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS IN THE PUBLIC TO DEVELOP A SHARED VISION FOR AN AREA OF DOWNTOWN.

THAT HAS A RICH HISTORY THAT WE KNOW IS EVOLVING QUICKLY AND CHANGING ALMOST ON A DAILY BASIS.

THE PALM DISTRICT STUDY AREA COVERS THE EASTERN EDGE OF DOWNTOWN INCLUDES MANY SIGNIFICANT LANDMARKS.

THIS AREA IS GROUND ZERO, ALSO FOR A NUMBER OF SIGNIFICANT PUBLIC INVESTMENTS ANTICIPATED OVER THE YEARS AHEAD.

NEXT SLIDE.

IN ADDITION TO INITIATING A DISTRICT PLANNING PROCESS, THE RESOLUTION THAT WAS ADOPTED BY COUNCIL IN 2019 PROVIDED DIRECTION, SEVERAL ADDITIONAL ITEMS THAT ARE NOT, THAT ARE MOVING FORWARD INDEPENDENTLY OF THIS PROCESS, THE DISTRICT PLANNING PROCESS PROCESS IS BEING COORDINATED BY THE HOUSING PLANNING DEPARTMENT, AND IT WILL INFORM AND BE INFORMED BY, UH, OTHER WORK, UH, REFERENCED IN THE RESOLUTION.

NEXT SLIDE WITH THE ADOPTION OF A WALLER CREEK MASTER PLAN IN 2010, THERE'S BEEN A FEW PLANNING EFFORTS FOR THIS PART OF THE DOWNTOWN OVER THE PAST DECADE.

AS YOU CAN SEE THERE ON YOUR SCREEN, THERE'S GOOD.

1516 LOOKS TO BE A PLANNING EFFORTS, AND THERE'S OTHER ONES THAT WEREN'T LISTED IN THE RESOLUTION.

NEXT SLIDE.

NEXT SLIDE.

PALM DISTRICT IS GENERALLY BOUNDED BY 15TH STREET ON THE NORTH I 35 ON THE EAST LADY BIRD LAKE ON THE SOUTH AND TRINITY STREET ON THE WEST.

NEXT SLIDE, THE PALM DESERT ALSO HAS A LONG AND LAYERED HISTORY, UH, CENTRAL TO THE CITY AREA IS THE PALM SCHOOL WOULD SERVE AS A FOCAL POINT FOR AUSTIN'S MEXICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY FOR MORE THAN A HALF A CENTURY.

NEXT SLIDE, LISTEN TO THIS, THAT AERIAL PHOTO, PROBABLY FROM THE THIRTIES, UH, LOOKING, HE SHOWS THE SOUTHERN END OF THE PALM DISTRICT, INCLUDING THE PALM SCHOOL IT'S IN THE CIRCLE WHILE OUR CREEK AND THE RAINY NEIGHBORHOOD PRIOR TO THE CONSTRUCTION BY 35.

AND YOU CAN REALLY SEE THAT THE CREEK NOT EAST AVENUE LATER TO BECOME 35, REALLY CREATED A HARD

[00:05:01]

EDGE BETWEEN, UH, EAST AUSTIN.

AND NEXT SLIDE ORIGINALLY FOUNDED IN 1892 AT THE 10TH WARD SCHOOL HOMESCHOOL WAS RENAMED IN 1902 TO OWNER SEARCH.

ONE DAY AFTER ADOPTION OF THE SEGREGATION IS 1928 CITY PLAN HOMESCHOOL BECAME THE PRIMARY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FOR AUSTIN'S MEXICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY CONSTRUCTION OF CUT THE SCHOOL OFF FROM THE COMMUNITY THAT IS SERVED AND MANY LIVING ALUMNI HAVE MEMORIES OF HAVING TO DIVERSE I 35 JUST TO GET TO SCHOOL HOMESCHOOL CLOSED IN 1976, WHEN THE STUDENTS BEGAN ATTENDING THE RECENTLY CONSTRUCTED SANCHEZ ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

NEXT SLIDE TODAY, THE PALM SCHOOL BUILDING SERVES AS ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES FOR TRAVIS COUNTY AND COUNTY PLANS TO RELOCATE FUNCTIONS FROM THIS BUILDING TO A NEW FACILITY ON AIRPORT BOULEVARD AND IS EVALUATING OPTIONS FOR FUTURE OWNERSHIP USE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE SITE.

COMMUNITY MEMBERS, INCLUDING PALM SCHOOL ALUMNI HAVE EXPRESSED INTEREST IN PRESERVING AND OPERATING THE SITE AS A CULTURAL RESOURCE NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE CITY AND TRAVIS COUNTY ARE ONGOING.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

OTHER PLACES WITHIN THE PALM DISTRICT STUDY AREA THAT ARE KEYS TO THE DISTRICTS PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE INCLUDE, UH, PALM PARK HERE SHOWN IN THIS HISTORIC PHOTO.

NEXT SLIDE.

AND HERE'S WHAT PALM PARK LOOKS TODAY.

NEXT SLIDE.

UH, THIS IS A PICTURE OF WALLER CREEK SHOWING FLOODING FROM THE 1915 FLOOD.

AND THIS IS A SIXTH STREET BRIDGE OVER WATER CREEK LOOKING SOUTH.

UH, NEXT SLIDE, THE WALLER CREEK TUNNEL, WHICH WAS RECENTLY REMOVED A LARGE PORTION OF THE DISTRICT FROM THE FLOODPLAIN OPENING UP, UH, QUITE A BIT OF POSSIBLE, UH, DEVELOPMENT, UH, PREVIOUSLY AREAS THAT WERE PREVIOUS A HUNDRED YEAR FLOOD PLAIN.

NEXT SLIDE PARKLAND ALONG WALLER CREEK IS BEING RE-IMAGINED AS PART OF THE WATERLOO GREENWAY, INCLUDING ONE OF THE PARK, WHICH IS IN FINAL CONSTRUCTION AND WILL BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC THIS SUMMER.

UH, WHAT I'VE HEARD IS POSSIBLY AUGUST NEXT LINE.

UH, HERE'S A PICTURE THAT SHOWS EAST AVENUE PRIOR TO THE INSTRUCTION OF THAT BUILDING MULTI-STORY BUILDING IN THE MORALES MIDDLE OF THE PICTURE IS THE ORIGINAL BRACKENRIDGE HOSPITAL.

NEXT SLIDE, UH, THESE PICTURES, THESE PICTURES, THIS PICTURE, SEVERAL OTHERS SHOWING THE CONSTRUCTION OF I 35 DURING THE FIFTIES, AS YOU NOTICE THOSE LARGE, UH, BOULEVARD, UH, THAT WERE, THAT WERE KIND OF A HALLMARK AT EAST AVENUE WERE NO SHORT ORDER ERASED.

NEXT SLIDE HERE IS THE UPPER DECKING FOR I 35 BEING COMPLETED.

NEXT LINE TODAY I 30 FIVES ELEVATED LANES CARRY OVER 200,000 VEHICLES A DAY AND LOOMS OVER CENTRAL AUSTIN, INCLUDING THE PALM DISTRICT, A RECONSTRUCTION OF THROUGH CENTRAL AUSTIN PROVIDES A ONCE IN A GENERATION OPPORTUNITY TO RESHAPE THE CITY AND THE PALM DISTRICT.

NEXT SLIDE.

UM, TODAY THE DISTRICT INCLUDES THE DOWNTOWN STATION, WHICH IS THE SOUTHERN TERMINUS OF THE RED LINE INSTRUCTION.

A PROJECT CONNECT WILL RESULT IN A NUMBER OF SIGNIFICANT TRANSIT INVESTMENTS IN THE DISTRICT, INCLUDING A TRANSIT TUNNEL UNDER TRINITY AND SEVERAL NEW TRANSIT STATIONS.

UH, IN THE FUTURE, THE DISTRICT WILL BE SERVED BY THE RED LINE, THE GREEN LINE, THE BLUE LINE, AND THE GOLD LINE MAKING IT A VERY SIGNIFICANT TRANSIT HUB IN DOWNTOWN.

NEXT SLIDE, A MAJOR ANCHOR WITHIN THE DISTRICT IS THE CONVENTION CENTER, WHICH COULD BE RECONSTRUCTED IN THE FUTURE IN 2019 CITY COUNCIL DIRECTED STAFF TO EXPLORE FINANCING AND EXPANSION OF THE CONVENTION CENTER.

BASED ON THE RESULTS OF A UTI STUDY, CITY STAFF ARE NOW PROCEEDING WITH ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES THAT COULD LEAD TO FUTURE EXPANSION OF THE CONVENTION CENTER THROUGH A PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP.

NEXT SLIDE.

IT ALSO INCLUDES BRUSH SQUARE, WHICH IS ONE OF THE FOUR ORIGINAL DOWNTOWN SQUIRREL SQUARES, UH, DESIGNATED BY THE WALLER PLAN IMPROVEMENTS TO BRUSH SQUARE IMPLEMENTING PHASE.

ONE OF THE MASTER PLANNERS ARE ABOUT TO, ABOUT TO COMMENCE.

NEXT SLIDE.

THE DISTRICT ALSO INCLUDES THE EMMA S BARRIENTOS MEXICAN-AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER AND THE CULTURAL CENTER IS GETTING READY TO BE EXPANDED.

AND, UH, RIGHT NOW IT'S PRESENTLY EXPANSIONS IN THE DESIGN PHASE.

NEXT LINE, THE PALM DISTRICT ALSO INCLUDES RAINEY STREET.

THIS PHOTO SHOWS WHAT RAINEY STREET LOOKED LIKE PRIOR TO THE 2004 REZONING TO CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT ZONING SINCE REZONING OF RAINY IN 2004, RAINEY HAS BECOME A MAJOR ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION, AND THIS HOUSE WAS ACTUALLY SHOWN ON THE HOUSE ON THE RIGHT ON THE PREVIOUS SLIDE.

SO THE TRANSFORMATION OF RAINY STREET HAS BEEN QUITE A COMPLETE NEXT LINE AND, UH, RANGE FOR YOU IS ALSO QUICKLY

[00:10:01]

BEING REDEVELOPED WITH HIGH RISE TOWERS.

NEXT LINE, THE POEM DISTRICT ALSO INCLUDES SEVERAL ADDITIONAL UNIQUE AREAS.

THE DISTRICT INCLUDES A PORTION OF EAST SIXTH STREET ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT.

NEXT SLIDE.

I THINK, I THINK WE'RE ONE SLIDE BEHIND.

SO IF WE CAN SEE, UH, WELL, UH, I BELIEVE WE'RE ABOUT TO BE ON THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT FLOOD CAUSE HE JUST TALKED ABOUT SIXTH STREET, RIGHT? OKAY.

SO LET'S GO TO THE MOHAWK THERE, EVERYONE.

SEE THAT? YEP.

YOU GOT IT NOW.

OKAY.

AND SO THAT ALSO INCLUDES THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT.

NEXT LINE.

THE INNOVATION DISTRICT IS AT THE VERY NORTH OF THE DISTRICT AND IT'S ANCHORED BY THE NEW DELL SETON MEDICAL CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS.

NEXT SLIDE, THE HISPANIC, LATINO QUALITY OF LIFE INITIATIVE IDENTIFIED A DESIRE TO IMPLEMENT A MEXICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE CORRIDOR THAT WOULD CONNECT REPUBLIC SQUARE TO UP TO YOUR PLAZA ALONG FIFTH STREET, THIS PROPOSED HERITAGE CORRIDOR INTERSECTS THE PALM DISTRICT AND THE RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PALM DISTRICT PLANNING, ALSO DIRECTED STAFF TO INITIATE A PROCESS FOR CULTURAL DISTRICT DESIGNATION OF THE FIFTH STREET, MEXICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE CORRIDOR.

THE PALM DISTRICT PLANNING INITIATIVE WILL COORDINATE WITH POTENTIAL EFFORTS TO DESIGNATE AND IMPLEMENT THIS CORRIDOR.

NEXT LINE PROJECTS COPE.

NEXT SLIDE.

WE WILL EVALUATE WHETHER A PLANNING EFFORT IS SUCCESSFUL BASED ON THE EXTENT TO WHICH YOU DID ACHIEVE COMMUNITY BENEFITS IN AN EQUITABLE MANNER.

THE GOALS FOR THE PLANNING PROCESS INCLUDE CREATING A SAFE, WELCOMING PLACE, PRESERVING AND INTERPRETING HISTORY, ENHANCING EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL ASSETS, PROVIDING ECONOMIC BENEFITS, INCREASING ACCESS TO HOUSING, IMPROVING MOBILITY AND ACCESS, IMPROVING ACCESS TO NATURE AND SUPPORTING AN EQUITABLE, SUSTAINABLE FUTURE.

EXCELLENT.

SOME OF THE DELIVERABLES THAT THIS PROCESS WILL GENERATE AND INCLUDE THESE DURING THE NEXT 12 MONTHS, WE WILL ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS TO WORK, TO UNDERSTAND EXISTING CONDITIONS, DEVELOP A SHARED VISION FOR THE DISTRICT SUPPORT COORDINATION OR RELATED INITIATIVES AND IDENTIFY OPTIONS FOR THE FUTURE EVOLUTION OF THE DISTRICT.

THIS WORK WILL ULTIMATELY TO DEVELOPMENT OF A SMALL AREA PLAN FOR THE PALM DISTRICT AND, AND THAT WILL BE AN AMENDMENT TO THE DOWNTOWN AUSTIN PLAN.

WE WILL ALSO WORK ON IMPLEMENTATION ACTIVITIES, WHICH COULD INCLUDE DEVELOPING NEW LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, BUT IMPLEMENTATION WORK WILL LIKELY CONTINUE BEYOND THE 12 MONTHS THAT IS SCHEDULED FOR THIS PLANNING PROCESS.

NEXT SLIDE, THE PROJECT TEAM, UM, RODNEY GONZALEZ, UH, ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER IS THE EXECUTIVE LEAD FOR THIS PROJECT.

UM, STEVIE GREAT HOUSE.

UH, MY MANAGER, SHE IS THE PROJECT LEAD AND JOSE RUSSO ALON ALSO HOUSING AND PLANNING WILL BE THE URBAN DESIGN LEAD ON THIS PROJECT.

UH, THIS PROJECT IS BEING COORDINATED, PRIMARILY USING RESOURCES IN HOUSE WITH PROJECT TEAM THAT SPANS MULTIPLE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, HOUSING AND PLANNING TO START THAT OVER HOUSING AND PLANNING DEVELOPMENT STAFF FROM THE URBAN DESIGN, INCLUSIVE PLANNING DIVISIONS AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE RUNNING TECHNICAL AND URBAN DESIGN EXPERTISE AND SUPPORTED THIS EFFORT.

WE ARE MEETING REGULARLY WITH A GROUP OF KEY COORDINATING DEPARTMENTS WHO WILL BE SUPPORTING VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE PLANNING PROCESS.

WE HAVE ALSO BEGUN TO COORDINATE WITH KEY AGENCY PARTNERS, SUCH AS CAP METRO.

THE PLAN WILL BE DEVELOPED THROUGH COLLABORATION WITH A HOST OF ADDITIONAL STAKEHOLDERS AND ORGANIZATIONAL PARTNERS DURING THE VISIONING STAGE PLANNING PROCESS.

NEXT SLIDE, TIMELINE NIXON, SHE'S SEE BY THE BIG GREEN ARROW.

THIS IS WHERE WE ARE.

WE'RE AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT OVER THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF.

WE CONDUCTED NUMEROUS PRE-PLANNING ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING EXISTING CONDITIONS, ANALYSIS, LUMINARY, EACH OUTREACH AND COORDINATION ACTIVITIES, A COORDINATION WITH THE NATIONAL AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS AND DEVELOPMENT OF A PROJECT WEBSITE.

WE ARE CURRENTLY, LIKE I SAID, BEGINNING THE VISIONING PHASE.

THIS PHASE WILL INCLUDE A NUMBER OF ACTIVITIES DESIGNED TO SOLICIT INPUT FROM STAKEHOLDERS AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC ROUND, THE OVERALL DESIRED FUTURE OF THE DISTRICT AND TO IDENTIFY ISSUES THAT WE SHOULD PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO.

AS WE MOVE THROUGH THE PLANNING PROCESS OVER THE SUMMER AND FALL, WE WILL CONTINUE TO ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS INTERCHANGEABLY THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS.

AND THE GOAL IS TO PRESENT A DRAFT PLAN TO PLANNING COMMISSION AND CITY COUNCIL FOR POSSIBLE ADOPTION IN EARLY 20 1822.

NEXT LINE CUTER FROZE, UM, HOW TO GET INVOLVED.

NEXT SLIDE.

ONE OF THE PRIMARY WAYS TO GET INVOLVED IS TO OUR PROJECT WEBSITE.

IT'S WWW DOT

[00:15:01]

SPEAK-UP AUSTIN.ORG FORWARD SLASH PALM DISTRICT IN HERE.

UH, YOU CAN REVIEW INFORMATION MATERIALS.

YOU CAN TAKE A SURVEY, YOU CAN ADD TO OUR INTERACTIVE MAP AND ASK QUESTIONS TO STAFF.

UH, IN, IN JUNE 15TH AND 16TH, UH, WE WILL BE HAVING TWO VIRTUAL, UH, VISIONING FORUMS ON THE 15TH.

WE WILL BE AT EIGHT TO 10 IN THE MORNING AND ON THE NEXT DAY, THE 16TH WILL BE SIX TO EIGHT S NEXT SLIDE.

THERE'S ADDITION TO THE TOOLS ON THE SPEAK-UP PAGE AND THE VIRTUAL VISIONING PROCESS SESSIONS.

PEOPLE CAN ALSO PROVIDE INPUT ON THE VISION AND THE PROJECT AND ASK QUESTIONS VIA EMAIL OVER THE PHONE OR BY MAIL.

WE ARE ALSO PROVIDING ORGANIZATIONAL BRIEFINGS LIKE THIS ONE ORGANIZATIONS THAT WERE THAT REQUEST.

WE'RE ALSO WORKING ON PLANS FOR ADDITIONAL ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES IN PARTICULAR, WE'LL BE WORKING WITH THE NATIONAL AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS ON SOME FOCUSING ACTIVITIES, AND WE HOPE TO HELP FACILITATE A NUMBER OF CONVERSATIONS TARGETED AT EAST AUSTIN COMMUNITY MEMBERS LATER IN THE SUMMER, AS DETAILS COME INTO FOCUS, ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED ON OUR WEBPAGE.

NEXT SLIDE.

THANK YOU.

UM, END IN MY PRESENTATION.

UH, YOU CAN HAVE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR STEVIE GRADE HOUSE AND AS WELL AS MY CONTACT INFORMATION.

AND IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, UH, AFTER TONIGHT'S MEETING, UH, FEEL FREE TO DROP US A EMAIL OR A PHONE CALL AND, UH, BE HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS AT THIS TIME.

THANK YOU SO MUCH MR. WALTERS.

UM, IT'S SUPER EXCITING TO HEAR THAT THIS IS, UH, STARTING TO GET OFF THE GROUND.

UM, I'M SURE THAT FOLKS HAVE QUESTIONS.

SO LET'S GO AROUND, I'LL START WITH COMMISSIONER BEDFORD, ANY QUESTIONS? UM, I JUST HAD ONE QUESTION.

I WAS KIND OF CURIOUS IF THERE WERE ANY LIKE ANY OLD, UH, NEIGHBORHOOD HOMES, UM, THAT ARE BEING CONSIDERED AS BEING ESTABLISHED AS LIKE HISTORICAL HOMES OR ANYTHING THAT KIND OF PROTECTS, UM, PROTECTED HOMES OR STUFF LIKE THAT.

WELL, THE ONLY, WELL RAINY STREET IS A PART OF A NATIONAL HISTORICAL REGISTER DISTRICT DONE THROUGH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

UH, IT REALLY DOESN'T HAVE A LOT OF REGULATORY TEETH AND I THINK THE REMAINING HOUSES IN THE DISTRICT BY AND LARGE ARE NOW RESTAURANTS AND BARS ON RAINY STREET.

UH, BUT AS THIS IS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PROCESS, YOU KNOW, WE'RE STILL, WE'RE JUST GETTING READY TO THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE.

SO WE REALLY HAVEN'T KIND OF GOTTEN TO THAT LEVEL OF DETAIL JUST YET THOUGH.

THERE IS THE EXISTING CONDITIONS REPORT ON THE WEBSITE, WHICH HAS SOME INFORMATION ABOUT HISTORICAL RESOURCES IN THE DISTRICT.

THANK YOU.

CAN I SHARE BRIMER? UH, YES.

THANK YOU.

UH, UM, THANK YOU, MARK FOR YOUR, UH, BRIEFING HERE.

UM, I'VE A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS.

UH, WHEN YOU SAY, UH, ENLISTING, UH, YOU KNOW, LOCAL GROUPS OR PEOPLE OF INTEREST, UM, WHAT GROUPS HAVE YOU REACHED OUT TO SPECIFICALLY? UM, ARE THERE ANYTHING, YOU KNOW, HOW DO YOU ENGAGE THE LOCAL COMMUNITY IN THIS PROCESS? WELL, RIGHT NOW WE'VE ONLY ENGAGED MOST OF THE SIGNIFICANT PLAYERS IN DOWNTOWN.

THAT WOULD BE THE WATERLOO GREENWAY CLIENTS AND, UH, DOWNTOWN AUSTIN ALLIANCE.

BUT AS WE MOVE FORWARD, LIKE TONIGHT, STEVIE COULDN'T BE HERE TONIGHT BECAUSE SHE'S REEFING, I'M GOING TO, I'M GOING TO BUTCHER THE ORGANIZATION'S NAME, THE LATINO QUALITY OF LIFE BOARD, OR SOMETHING SUCH AS THAT.

SO THAT'S WHY I'M HERE TONIGHT.

SO WE HAD TO SPLIT OUR RESOURCES.

UH, WE'RE ALSO LOOKING TO ENGAGE SOME, UH, CON UH, CONSULTANTS TO HELP US OUTREACH TO EAST AUSTIN COMMUNITY, UH, TO TARGET SPECIFICALLY TARGET THOSE GROUPS OVER THERE.

AND, UH, WE'VE REACHED OUT TO SEVERAL OTHERS AND AS WE MOVE ALONG, WE'LL BE REACHING OUT TO MORE AND MORE AND MORE THAT LIST THAT I SHOWED YOU.

THERE WAS SIMPLY THE LIST THAT WAS IN THE RESOLUTION.

AND BY NO MEANS, ARE WE TIED EXCLUSIVELY TO THAT LIST? THE REASON I ASK IS, UH, UH, AT TIMES, UH, MANY OF THE PEOPLE IN EAST AUSTIN DON'T HAVE ADEQUATE, UH, ACCESS TO THE INTERNET.

AND SO, UH, YOU KNOW, WHILE IT'S NICE TO HAVE, UH, YOUR ONLINE ACCESS TO, UH, YOU KNOW, PROVIDE INPUT AND THAT SORT OF THING, UH, THERE ARE A LOT OF, UH, COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS I'M SURE ON THE EAST SIDE THAT, UH, YOU'LL HAVE MORE TOUCHY, FEELY CONTACT WITH PEOPLE THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT ARE NOT QUITE AS, UH, YOU KNOW, INTERNET BASED

[00:20:01]

YOU HAD, DO YOU HAVE THE LOCAL COUNCIL MEMBERS, UH, INVOLVED IN THIS PROCESS TO REACH OUT TO THE MEMBERS OF THEIR, THEIR ACCOUNTANTS COUNCIL DISTRICTS? WE NOT YET BEEN COUNCIL DISTRICT NINE COUNCIL MEMBER TOVO HAS BEEN VERY ACTIVELY INVOLVED.

THIS RESOLUTION WAS, I THINK, REALLY CAME ORIGINALLY FROM HER OFFICE SO THAT SHE'S BEEN INVOLVED AND AS THE PROCESS MOVES FORWARD, WE'LL BE REACHING OUT TO DISTRICT THREE.

UH, AND, AND I DON'T KNOW ABOUT DISTRICT ONE, I FORGET WHERE ALL THE LINES ARE DRAWN.

UH, BUT WE WILL BE REACHING OUT TO ANYONE.

WE CAN, YOU KNOW, ANYONE YOU CAN THINK OF WHO COMES TO US OR ASKS US TO BE, TO BE PART OF THE DISCUSSION.

ALSO, WE WILL BE REACHING OUT THROUGH, UH, YOU KNOW, PRESS RELEASES TO TRY TO GET THIS IN THE LOCAL PRESS.

SO PEOPLE CAN BE MADE AWARE OF IT.

WE HAD AN INITIAL PRESS RELEASE SEVERAL WEEKS AGO, AND WE GOT AN INITIAL SMATTERING OF PRESS OUT THERE.

SO WE'RE GOING TO BE USING ALL OF THE TOOLS AT OUR DISPOSAL TO REACH OUT TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE CAN.

I'M EXEMPT.

WE'RE TRYING TO DO IT AS BROADLY AS WE CAN.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

YEAH.

THANK YOU.

UM, UM, THANK YOU FOR THE UPDATE, UH, MARK.

UM, I KNOW THAT YOU MENTIONED THE 15 OTHER MASTER PLANS, UM, THAT HAVE BEEN DONE FOR THE AREA.

AND, UM, I THINK THIS KIND OF GOES TO THE OTHER QUESTION OF HOW WILL YOU BE, UM, TAKING THAT DATA AND THAT INPUT THAT, UM, WHICH I KNOW SO MANY OF THOSE MASTER PLANS, I MEAN, THEY REALLY DID A GREAT, UM, YOU KNOW, PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT OBVIOUSLY PRIOR TO COVID.

UM, SO THEY DID HAVE, YOU KNOW, COMMUNITY-BASED, UM, EVENTS, HOW WILL YOU BE TAKING THAT, SYNTHESIZING IT, LOOKING AT IT, UM, AND ADDING THAT INTO, UM, YOU KNOW, TAKING THOSE PUBLIC COMMENTS AND KIND OF ADDING IT INTO YOURS.

I HAD A BOSS WANTS TO TOLD ME THAT ALL PLANS ARE BASED ON OTHER PLANS.

AND AS WE MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS, WE'RE GOING TO BE LOOKING NOW TO HOW THEY WILL INFORM THIS, HOW ELEMENTS MIGHT BE INTEGRATED INTO THIS PLAN AND HOW THIS PLAN RELATES TO THESE OTHER PLANS.

UH, SO AT A VERY MINIMUM, THE, LIKE I MENTIONED, IN THE, IN THE PRESENTATION, THE DOWNTOWN AUSTIN PLAN WILL BE AMENDED WITH, WITH THE RESULTS OF THIS PROCESS AS, AND THEN OTHER PLANS AS NECESSARY WILL BE AMENDED OR OTHERWISE BE AMENDED AS PART OF THE PROCESS.

UH, LIKE I SAID, ALL OF THESE MANY, THIS, THIS PROCESS DOESN'T EXIST IN A VACUUM.

AND I THINK WE WOULD BE REMISS IF WE DIDN'T LOOK TO THESE WHAT WAS ALREADY BEEN DONE AND HOW THAT CAN INFORM THIS PROCESS.

OKAY.

YEAH.

AND THANK YOU FOR THAT.

AND, AND YOU ARE, RIGHT.

YES.

ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S DOWNTOWN, EVERYTHING IS, UH, UM, BUILT ON A PLAN, HAVE A PLAN, HAVE A PLAN.

UM, BUT I THINK MY CONCERN IS SOMETIMES, YOU KNOW, YOU GET, UM, YOU GET PUBLIC INPUT FATIGUE.

UM, YOU KNOW, IF, IF PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE TO KEEP ON MAKING THE COMMENTS ON THIS ONE AREA AND, UM, YOU KNOW, WITH 15 OTHER PLANS ALREADY OUT THERE AND, AND, AND THERE'S STUDIES DONE PRETTY RECENTLY, UM, YOU KNOW, I JUST WANT TO BE COGNIZANT OF THAT AND RECOGNIZE, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF THOSE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SAY, WAIT A MINUTE.

I THOUGHT I GAVE MY INPUT ALREADY.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT? UM, SO I JUST WANT TO PUT THAT OUT THERE, MAKE YOUR THOMPSON HI.

UM, THANKS.

I JUST AM WANTING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE KIND OF SET IN STONE IN SOME WAYS, WHICH BY THAT, I MEAN, WITH ALL THE PLANS AND ALL THIS TALK OF AMENDMENTS, UM, THERE'S CERTAIN THINGS THAT WE WANT TO BE PRESERVED HERE.

AND I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT WAS DONE IN ADVANCE THAT, I MEAN, THE HIGHWAY AND THERE'S SO MUCH GOING ON THERE.

SO, I MEAN, THERE WAS A LOT OF WORK DONE TO GET THIS FAR, SO I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE WERE GUARANTEES IT WOULD REMAIN THE IDEA AND THE CONCEPT THAT IT IS AT THIS POINT.

NOT SURE I FOLLOW THE QUESTION, MR. THOMPSON, DO YOU MEAN IN PREVIOUS PLAN? I'M SORRY.

DO YOU MEAN FROM PREVIOUS PLANNING WORK THAT'S BEEN DONE? I MEAN THAT ALL OF THE PLANS, UM, AS SHE WAS SAYING ARE ALL AROUND AND EVERYBODY MIGHT SAY, WELL, LET'S AMEND THIS AND LET'S AMEND THAT AND LET'S DO THIS, BUT THE PALM SCHOOL NEEDS TO BE PRESERVED.

AND

[00:25:01]

SO I'M WANTING US TO MAKE SURE FROM THE BEGINNING AND THE GET GO THAT THE PALM SCHOOL DOES NOT SUFFER AMENDMENTS THAT WE, THAT WE DON'T WANT.

SO THAT'S WHAT YOUR COMMENT, OH, IT'S CUTANEOUS, IT'S A CENTRAL PART OF THE PROCESS.

SO I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A VERY SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE CONVERSATIONS MOVING FORWARD.

OKAY.

THANKS MR. WALTERS, ANY OTHER QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? COMMISSIONER THOMPSON.

OKAY.

UM, I THINK IS COMMISSIONER CREEL ON, ON THE PHONE? DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS I'M STILL HERE? NOPE.

NO COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS.

OKAY.

UH, COMMISSIONER BARRETT, NO COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS FOR ME.

THANK YOU.

AWESOME.

THANKS.

Y'ALL.

I HAVE A FEW QUESTIONS, SO THANKS AGAIN SO MUCH, UH, MARK FOR COMING TO TALK WITH US.

AND I THINK MY QUESTION IS JUST, IT'S JUST ABOUT THE, UH, COORDINATING DEPARTMENTS AND WANTING A LITTLE MORE CLARITY ON THAT.

I KNOW YOU'RE JUST KICKING OFF VISIONING, JUST KIND OF PROBABLY GETTING INTERNALLY ORGANIZED TOO WITH THE CROP DEPARTMENTAL WORK, BUT YOU HAVE A SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT IN LIKE WATERSHED AND AN OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY YET.

AND CAN YOU SHARE WHO THOSE FOLKS ARE, WHO ARE GOING TO BE YOUR CONTEXTS? NO, I DON'T KNOW WHO THEY ARE.

I COULD GET THE LIST TO YOUR LIAISON, BUT AT THIS POINT I JUST, CV HAS BEEN MORE OF A LEAD AND WE KIND OF CAME ON LATER AND I'M STILL TRYING TO, I GETTING UP TO SPEED, BUT THERE'S A LOT OF, A LOT OF SINGLE POINTS OF CONTACT, BUT WE HAVE SINGLE POINTS OF CONTACT IN ATD.

WE HAVE SINGLE POINTS OF CONTACT IN WATERSHED, UH, PROBABLY SUSTAINABILITY.

I'VE SEEN SOME SUSTAINABILITY FOLKS THERE, UH, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT, UH, YOU KNOW, SO IT IS A CROSS-ORGANIZATIONAL EFFORT WITH, UH, HOUSING AND PLANNING, TAKING THE LEAD ON THE, CREATING THE POLICY PLAN, WHICH IS GOING TO BE THE CULMINATION OF THIS PROCESS.

OKAY.

YEAH, I THINK, I THINK PASSING THINGS OFF TO TEQUILA CHAMPLIN, UM, IF YOU CAN GET US THE SPOCK LIST TO SUE, IF COMMISSIONERS WANT TO REACH OUT TO OUR WATERSHED SPOCK, UM, ON THIS, UH, JUST SO THAT WE KNOW WHO'S INVOLVED AND, AND ALSO JUST REALLY WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT WATERSHED HAS A SEAT AT THE TABLE, ESPECIALLY SINCE ONE OF YOUR GOALS IS REALLY THAT KIND OF URBAN CONNECTION TO NATURE.

UM, BOTH WATERSHED AND SUSTAINABILITY.

UH, I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE ARE, THOSE ARE REALLY GETTING PLUGGED IN WITH Y'ALL THEY ARE, AND I MEAN, COVID KIND OF PUT THIS ON THE BACK BURNER, LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE IN OUR LIVES, AND WE'RE NOW JUST KIND OF GETTING FORWARD, MOVING FORWARD WITH THIS.

SO, UM, YEAH, I WILL GET THAT LIST TO, TO KAYLA AND SHE CAN FORWARD IT TO YOU.

AWESOME.

CAN YOU STILL HEAR ME? I'M FROZEN ON MY SCREEN WITH A HARD TO HEAR YOU, SORRY.

UM, ALL RIGHT.

SORRY IF I'M FROZEN TO EVERYONE ELSE, BUT ALL RIGHT.

SO ANOTHER QUESTION I, I HATE TO START OUT WITH A CRITIQUE, CAUSE I KNOW YOU GUYS ARE JUST STARTING, BUT I I'M A LITTLE WORRIED THAT YOU DON'T HAVE OFFICE OF EQUITY LISTED ON YOUR COORDINATING DEPARTMENTS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE DOING EAST SIDE OUTREACH.

UM, AND ESPECIALLY WITH SOME OF THE LIST OF KEY STAKEHOLDERS WHO, WHO YOU WANT TO BRING INTO PROCESS.

SO I WOULD, I WOULD SAY, I HOPE THAT YOU WILL REMEDY THAT AND, AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE INVOLVED.

I KNOW THAT THEY HAVE A BANDWIDTH, YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE SOME BANDWIDTH ISSUES, LIKE THEY DON'T HAVE A TON OF STAFF, BUT MAKING SURE THAT THEY'RE INVOLVED IN KEY MOMENTS IS I THINK REALLY CRITICAL, UM, FOR THIS PROCESS.

YEAH.

I'M WRITING THAT DOWN TO CHECK AND BRING THAT UP WITH STEVIE.

AWESOME.

THANKS.

ALL RIGHT.

UM, I WANTED TO TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THE TIMELINE.

UM, YOU KNOW, I, I THINK WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOU COMING TO ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION AND IN THESE PLANNING PROCESSES, IT'S AGAIN, JUST SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR OVERLAP ACROSS BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS.

I'D LOVE TO JUST TALK TONIGHT WITH YOU ABOUT, UM, SOME OTHER KEY MOMENTS IN THE PROCESS THAT WE CAN EXPECT TO SEE BACK AT ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION.

HAVE YOU ALL THOUGHT ABOUT THAT AS A TEAM YET? UM, I DON'T SPECIFICALLY KNOW GENERALLY YES.

THEN WE WOULD GO, AS CERTAIN MILESTONES WERE REACHED THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS, WE WOULD GO AND DO THE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS TOUR GOING, TALKING TO THE DIFFERENT ONES, UH, THAT MIGHT HAVE AN INTEREST IN THIS AREA.

GOTCHA.

WELL, I THINK I AT LEAST VOICE SUPPORT FOR MAKING SURE THAT, THAT YOU SEE US AGAIN LATE SUMMER, MID FALL, UH, WHEN YOU'RE IN ACTIVE PLANNING AND THEN CLOSER TO WHEN DRAFT REVIEW IS HAPPENING.

I PERSONALLY, I THINK THIS IS SUCH A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO INTEGRATE REALLY URBAN GREENING IN, UH,

[00:30:01]

A PLACE THAT GETS VISITED BY THE, INCLUDING A LOT OF OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS, ESPECIALLY WITH THE CONVENTION CENTER THERE WITH SO MUCH FOCUS ON, YOU KNOW, WALLER CREEK AND THE WATER GREENWAY WORK.

UM, IT JUST, IT SEEMS LIKE A HUGE OPPORTUNITY FOR, FOR URBAN GREENING.

UM, AND, UH, I'M GLAD TO SEE THAT THAT WAS ONE OF YOUR, YOUR CORE GOALS.

SO I FEEL LIKE WORKING WITH KAYLA AND LIZ ON THE WATERSHED SIDE AND FIGURING OUT WHAT THE RIGHT CADENCE IS OF SEEING YOU MAYBE MID PLANNING AND, AND KIND OF AROUND DRAFT REVIEW TIME WOULD BE, WOULD BE GREAT IN MY BOOK.

YEAH.

I'LL BRING THIS UP WITH, UM, THE STEVIE AND WE CAN, CAUSE IF WE, WE WOULD PROBABLY DO IT TO DO THE TOUR TO THE GRAND TOUR OF THE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS, UH, AND GIVE EVERYBODY, UH, AND, YOU KNOW, GIVE EVERYONE A BRIEFING ON THE STATUS OF THE PROCESS.

AWESOME.

OKAY.

YEAH.

AND I THINK JUST DIVING IN A LITTLE BIT MORE TO THAT ACCESS TO NATURE GOAL, DO YOU HAVE ANY INITIAL THOUGHTS ON, ON KIND OF THE WAY YOU'RE WEAVING THAT INTO, INTO THE NARRATIVE AND BEING A LITTLE BIT, WHAT I WILL PREFACE THOUGH, IS I HOPE THAT THAT IS NOT JUST A, WELL, THE NATURE'S HAPPENING OVER IN WALLER CREEK.

I HOPE THAT THIS IS SEEN AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BRING THE NATURE OUT OF THE CREEK INTO THE URBAN, UM, INTO THE URBAN SYSTEMS ALL AROUND.

UM, I GUESS, CAN YOU EXPAND ANY ON, ON JUST SOME OF YOUR INITIAL THINKING THERE, ACTUALLY, I, WE DON'T HAVE TOO MUCH INITIAL THINKING, AS I SAID, WE REALLY ARE AT DIVISION AND I DON'T WANT TO PRESUPPOSE OR PREJUDICE ANYTHING AT THIS POINT BECAUSE WE'RE SIMPLY, WE ARE IN THE LISTENING PHASE AND CREATING A VISION AND WORKING WITH, UH, AND CREATING A VISION PERHAPS FOR EACH OF THE LITTLE PLACE IN LITTLE PLACES, BECAUSE ACTUALLY THE DISTRICT ITSELF HAS A COLLECTION OF PLACES KIND OF STRUNG ALONG LIKE A COMEBACK LIST THAT, YOU KNOW, AT THE NORTH END, YOU HAVE THE INNOVATION DISTRICT IN WATERLOO PARK AND THE RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT, SIX, THREE EIGHT, YOU KNOW, THE CONVENTION CENTER RAINY.

SO EACH ONE OF THOSE PLACES IS GOING TO HAVE THEIR OWN UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS AND ISSUES.

UM, SO, AND AS THIS PROCESS UNFOLDS, WE'RE GOING TO BE, YOU KNOW, LOOKING AT THAT NARRATIVE AND, AND AGAIN, LOOKING AT THAT NARRATIVE THROUGH THE LENS OF THOSE GOALS THAT WE HAVE, NO, THAT'S, THAT'S TOTALLY A FAIR ANSWER.

I KIND OF PUT YOU ON THE SPOT MARK.

SO I APPRECIATE IT.

AND, UM, I, THEN MY RESPONSE IS REALLY JUST MY FEEDBACK IS PLEASE DON'T SILO THE NATURE OF THE DISTRICT TO THE CREEK.

UH, AND THEN HONESTLY, FOR ME, IN TERMS OF ENVIRONMENTAL GOALS FOR THIS DISTRICT, UM, BEST CASE SCENARIO IS THIS IS A DISTRICT SCALE PILOT OF FUNCTIONAL GREEN, WHICH I DON'T, I KNOW OTHER COMMISSIONERS MIGHT NOT BE AWARE OF IT'S SOMETHING THAT WAS DEVELOPED BY, UM, ONE OF THE CITY DEPARTMENTS THAT WAS GOING TO BE PAIRED WITH NEW LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE THAT LOOKED AT THE MOST URBAN MIXED USE COMMERCIAL SITES, INCLUDING LIKE HIGH LEVEL IMPERVIOUS COVER, HOW WE COULD BUILD AN ECOSYSTEM SERVICES, EVEN IN THOSE SITES BY STACKING DIFFERENT GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE SYSTEMS, GREEN ROOFS, GREEN WALLS, ET CETERA.

AND SO, UM, MR. WALTERS, I, I THINK REALLY MAKING SURE THAT Y'ALL ARE DIGGING INTO THAT AND LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO MAYBE USE THAT DISTRICT IS LIKE A PROOF OF CONCEPT FOR, FOR SOME OF THE IDEAS IN THAT I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THAT.

YEAH, DEFINITELY TAKE THAT INTO CONSIDERATION.

I MEAN, LIKE I SAID, WE WERE, SO AT THE BEGINNING THAT I, YOU KNOW, I DON'T EVEN, I MEAN, I'VE LOOKED AT THE SURVEY RESPONSES, BUT YOU KNOW, THERE WAS ONLY, I HAVEN'T REALLY, UH, DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT THINGS MIGHT BE.

OH, TOTALLY.

YEAH.

JUST, JUST FEEDBACK FROM, FOR ME PERSONALLY, UH, I THINK WE HAVE ONE MORE COMMENT AND THEN WE'LL MOVE ON TO OUR, I THINK OUR NEXT ITEM, UH, COMMISSIONER BRISTOL.

UM, YEAH.

UH, MARK, YOU MENTIONED THE SURVEY.

UM, BUT I DIDN'T WRITE DOWN.

I DIDN'T SEE HOW LONG WILL THAT SURVEY BE UP AND AVAILABLE AND, UM, NO, IT'S THE SUMMER, I THINK THROUGH JULY.

OKAY.

UH, WE WANT TO KEEP IT UP AS LONG AS WE CAN, SO WE CAN TO GET AS MANY, YOU KNOW, SOLICITATIONS AS ANSWERS.

WE ARE GETTING READY TO SEND OUT A MAIL OUT TO EVERYBODY WHO OWNS OR LIVES PROPERTY WITHIN THE DISTRICT AND ANYBODY WHO OWNS OR LIZ PROPERTY WHO OWNS OR LIVES WITHIN 500 FEET OF THE DISTRICT.

SO WE SHOULD BE GETTING A BUMP IN OUR SURVEY RESPONSES.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH, MR. WALTERS, EXCITED TO SEE YOU AND YOUR TEAM AGAIN, UM, AS THIS PROGRESSES AND GOOD LUCK, IT'S SUCH A COOL PROJECT AND, UH, WE'LL BE EXCITED TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

YOU'RE WELCOME.

THANK YOU.

AND LOOK FORWARD TO IT.

THANKS.

GOOD EVENING.

YOU

[00:35:01]

TOO.

YOU TOO.

ALL RIGHT.

UH, COMMISSIONERS, WE ARE MOVING ON TO, TO

[2b. Update on Lady Bird Lake Harmful Algal Proliferation—Brent Bellinger, Environmental Scientist, Watershed Protection Department]

BE UPDATE ON LADY BIRD, LAKE HARMFUL, ALGAL PROLIFERATION, UH, WITH BRENT BELLENGER ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE FROM WATERSHED PROTECTION.

RIGHT.

CAN EVERYBODY HEAR ME? I SEE A COUPLE OF NOTES UP THERE.

THANK YOU.

UH, WELL, IT IS, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, UH, FOR HAVING ME TONIGHT.

UM, IT'S BEEN A WHILE SINCE I'VE BEEN HERE AND GIVEN ANY UPDATES, UH, ON THE RESEARCH, UH, THAT'S BEEN GOING ON, UH, WITH WATERSHED PROTECTION, UM, FOR THOSE THAT, UH, MIGHT BE NEW.

UH, AGAIN, MY NAME IS BRENT BELLENGER, UM, UH, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS, UH, WITH THE WATERSHED PROTECTION DEPARTMENT.

UM, TODAY IN FACT IS MY SEVEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY, UH, WITH THE DEPARTMENT, UH, AS THE RESERVOIR ECOLOGIST.

THANK YOU.

UM, IN MY TIME HERE, UH, IT HAS BEEN TRULY A PLEASURE, UH, TO, UH, BE A PART, UH, AND IMMERSE MYSELF IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL ETHOS OF AUSTIN.

UH, JUST THE KIND OF AMAZING SPIRIT AND ATTITUDE TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT, UM, OUR RESOURCES, OUR NATURAL ENVIRONMENT, UH, TO PROVIDE, UM, THE MOST AND HIGHEST QUALITY ECOSYSTEM SERVICES POSSIBLE, UH, TO, TO THE CITIZENS, TO THE PEOPLE HERE, TO THE REGION.

UM, AND IT'S BEEN VERY EXCITING TO BE A PART OF THAT.

UH, THE UPDATE I'M GOING TO BE GIVING TONIGHT, UM, UNFORTUNATELY IS, IS KIND OF ON THE, UH, DARKER SIDE, I GUESS, OF THE RESEARCH.

UM, I'M GOING TO BE GIVING SOME UPDATES ABOUT THE, UM, HARMFUL ALGAL PROLIFERATION, UH, THAT WE HAVE OBSERVED ON LADY BIRD LAKE.

UM, I'LL GIVE SOMETHING TO JUST KIND OF A HIGH LEVEL OVERVIEW, UM, ABOUT THE ORGANISMS THEMSELVES, ABOUT THE TOXINS, AND THEN I'LL DIVE INTO SOME OF THE DATA AND, UH, FOR THOSE THAT HAVE SEEN THE MEMO, UH, THE UPCOMING, UH, PILOT PROJECT, UH, WE HAVE PLANNED FOR, UH, LADY BIRD LAKE FOR RIGHT, BUT I'LL, UH, IN AN ATTEMPT TO, UM, UH, TRY TO RESTORE, UH, YOU KNOW, THE, THE ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND CONDITIONS OF THE RESERVOIR, UH, PRE, UH, HAP OCCURRENCE AND FOR CLARIFICATION, YES.

NOTICE ON THEIR HARMFUL ALGAL PROLIFERATION, UH, BECAUSE SCIENTISTS ARE ALL ABOUT JARGON, HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS HALVES THAT YOU GENERALLY HEAR ABOUT ARE NOW RESERVED FOR PLANK TONIC.

FREE-FLOATING CYANOBACTERIA EVENTS, ALGO PROLIFERATIONS ARE RESERVED FOR A COHESIVE BENTHIC MATS, UH, WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN AUSTIN AND THE HIGHLAND LAKES.

SO SMALL DISTINCTION, UM, BUT, UH, IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S BECOMING MORE PREVALENT IN THE LITERATURE.

SO AS YOU HEAR PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT THOSE THINGS, UH, THAT'S THE DISTINCTION BEING MADE.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

UH, SO JUST A LITTLE OVERVIEW SINCE THIS IS ON, UM, A PDF, UH, ALL THE FUN ANIMATIONS AND THINGS ARE NOT THERE.

UM, BUT JUST A LITTLE BIT OF BACKGROUND.

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CYANOBACTERIA.

UM, YOU'LL SEE THEM COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS BLUE-GREEN ALGAE.

UM, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE NOT QUITE ALGAE ALGAE, TECHNICALLY ARE YOU CARRY ARCTIC ORGANISMS MORE DERIVED, UM, BUT THEY ARE DERIVED CYANOBACTERIA.

UM, AND IN FACT, IF YOU LOOK AT THE GENOME IN THE CHLOROPLASTS OF PRETTY MUCH EVERY PHOTOSYNTHETIC ORGANISM, YOU CAN STILL FIND THE SIGN OF BACTERIA, UH, GENETIC MATERIAL PRESENT.

UH, THESE ARE VERY PRIMITIVE ORGANISMS, UH, BELIEVED TO HAVE EVOLVED AROUND 3 BILLION WITH A B YEARS AGO.

UM, WHEN THEY EVOLVED, UH, EARTH WAS AN OXYGEN FREE, UH, PLANET.

UM, AND SO EVERYTHING THAT WAS HERE, ALL OF THE PROKARYOTIC LIFE WAS ANAEROBIC, UH, IN, IN TERMS OF THEIR METABOLISM, CYANOBACTERIA, UH, THEY DECIDED TO, UH, START USING PHOTOSYNTHESIS TO PRODUCE THEIR SUGARS, UH, WITH THE BY-PRODUCT OF OXYGEN.

AND IT TURNS OUT OXYGEN IS EXTREMELY TOXIC IF YOU HAVE NO WAY TO, UH, BREAK DOWN, UM, THAT, THAT ELEMENT.

UH, SO, UH, THEY WERE ACTUALLY THE DRIVER OF THE GREAT OXYGENATION EVENT OF THE FIRST KIND OF MASS, UH, DIE OFF OF LIFE ON THIS PLANET.

BUT, UH, I GUESS FORTUNATE LEE FOR US, UH, THE, THE ABUNDANCE OF OXYGEN GAVE RISE TO EUKARYOTIC ORGANISMS AND EVENTUALLY, UH, TO US HIBERNATE AND PRIMATES NOW, UH, ASIDE FROM OXYGEN, UH, WHAT WE'RE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT IS SOME OF THE OTHER SECONDARY METABOLITES, UH, THAT CYANOBACTERIA

[00:40:01]

PRODUCE.

UH, SOME OF THEM ARE BENIGN, UM, UH, JASMINE, UH, MIB.

THESE ARE THINGS THAT WHEN THEY'RE IN THE WATER SUPPLY LEAD TO TASTE AND ODOR PROBLEMS, UH, THERE'S NO REAL HEALTH-RELATED RISKS.

IT'S MORE OF AN AESTHETIC.

UM, BUT THEY ALSO THEN PRODUCE A SUITE OF TOXINS.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

THAT'S OUT OF TOXINS EFFECT, EFFECT A VARIETY OF THINGS.

UH, IF WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, UH, EFFECTS ON PEOPLE AND PETS, UM, IT COULD BE ANYTHING FROM AS MINOR AS SKIN IRRITATION, UH, RASHES, UM, TO CANCER, UH, NEUROLOGICAL IMPACTS, UH, YOU KNOW, IT'S, IT, IT PRETTY MUCH SPANS THE GAMUT, UM, UH, GLOBALLY.

UH, THERE HAVE BEEN, UH, RELATED HUMAN DEATHS TO ASSANA TOXINS, UH, CANCER CLUSTERS RELATED TO SOME OF THE TOXINS.

AND THEN OF COURSE, AS WE KNOW, CLOSER TO HOME, UM, ANIMALS, LIVESTOCK, UH, ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO THE SIGN OF TOXINS, UM, EVEN, YOU KNOW, GREAT ANIMALS, ELEPHANTS.

THERE WAS A MASS DIE-OFF OF ELEPHANTS IN AFRICA IN 2019, I BELIEVE, RELATED TO TOXINS BECAUSE THESE ARE VERY SERIOUS COMPOUNDS THAT ARE BEING PRODUCED, UM, HAVING THESE TYPES OF BLOOMS. AND PROLIFERATIONS OBVIOUSLY THAT LEADS TO, UH, AN ADVERSION TO USE OF THESE WATER BODIES.

THEY EITHER HAVE TO BE CLOSED DOWN OR NOBODY TRUSTS, UH, INTERACTING WITH IT.

THIS CAN HAVE ECONOMIC IMPACTS, UH, PERCEPTIONS.

NOBODY WANTS TO BE AROUND THAT PROPERTY VALUES MIGHT BE IMPACTED.

SO THESE TYPES OF, UH, OF, OF GROSS BY CYANOBACTERIA, UH, HAVE WIDE RANGING IMPACTS.

UM, AND, YOU KNOW, AND THEN OF COURSE, UH, BECAUSE SO MUCH OF OUR DRINKING WATER COMES FROM OUR SURFACE WATERS.

UM, THIS IS OBVIOUSLY, UH, SOMETHING TO BE KEENLY AWARE OF.

YOU KNOW, THE CITY OF TOLEDO HAD TO SHUT DOWN THEIR WATER SUPPLY A FEW YEARS AGO, THE CITY OF DES MOINES HAD TO SHUT DOWN THEIR WATER SUPPLY A FEW YEARS AGO.

UM, ALL BECAUSE, UH, STATE AND FEDERAL GUIDELINES FOR THESE TOXINS, UH, WERE BEING EXCEEDED.

IT'S VERY, VERY COSTLY, UH, SERIOUS, UM, IMPLICATIONS, UH, WITH THESE GROWS.

UH, NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

SO LET'S GET TO LADYBIRD LAKE, UM, AGAIN IN 2019, UH, IN JULY, WE STARTED RECEIVING REPORTS OF DOGS BECOMING ILL AND DYING, UH, AFTER SWIMMING AROUND RED BUD ISLAND, AUDITORIUM SHORES, UH, I, UH, COLLEAGUES, UH, LIZ JOHNSON AND MATEO SCOGGINS, UH, QUICK WENT OUT THERE, UH, SNAPPED THESE PICTURES.

THEY GRABBED SOME SAMPLES, TOOK THEM TO THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, UM, WHERE, UH, ANALYSES, UH, WERE PERFORMED, UM, AT THAT TIME READ, BUT I'LL WAS CLOSED DOWN.

WE CLOSED, UH, THE, UM, UH, OUR DEPARTMENT WORKING WITH THE PARKS DEPARTMENT, SHUT DOWN THE OTHER DOG LAUNCHES AROUND LADY BIRD LAKE OUT OF AN ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION, AND TO TRY TO PREVENT, UM, ANY MORE, UH, UH, DOG OR ANIMAL DEATHS.

NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

UH, SO THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS FROM THE MAT SAMPLES THAT WE'RE TAKING THERE, UH, THERE WERE TWO PROMINENT CYANOBACTERIA SPECIES THAT WERE IDENTIFIED, UH, AND THESE ARE WELL-KNOWN TOXIN PRODUCERS.

UM, THESE ARE, UH, GLOBALLY KNOWN, UM, FOR THEIR PROPENSITY TO PRODUCE, UM, ANTITOXIN AND IT'S A, , UH, A DERIVATIVE OF ANTITOXIN.

WHAT WE HAD HERE WAS DIHYDRO ANTITOXIN, UH, IT'S, IT'S JUST A SLIGHT MODIFICATION OF THE PARENT COMPOUND THAT YOU CAN SEE ON THE BOTTOM RIGHT THERE.

ANTITOXIN A, THIS IS A NEUROTOXIN.

UM, IT IS REFERRED TO AS FAST ACTING DEATH FACTOR.

UM, IF THAT'S NOT SCARY ENOUGH, UH, SOME RECENT RESEARCH SUGGESTS THAT DIHYDRO COULD BE FOUR TIMES AS TOXIC, UH, IN, IN STUDIES OF, UH, EFFECTS ON MICE.

UM, SO THIS IS A VERY, UH, SERIOUS COMPOUND AND IT'S, UH, YOU KNOW, WHY FOR THOSE ANIMALS THAT WERE UNFORTUNATELY, UM, INGESTED THIS MATERIAL, UM, YOU KNOW, THE REPORTS WERE PRETTY CONSISTENT IN THE SYMPTOMS AND, UH, THE DOGS PASSING, UH, GENERALLY WITHIN AN HOUR.

UH, SO YOU KNOW, A VERY SERIOUS THING THAT WE HAVE HERE, UH, UNFORTUNATELY, UH, NEXT SLIDE, NO, 2020.

UH, SO AFTER THAT EVENT, WE STARTED DOING SOME ROUTINE MONITORING IN 2019, UH, OVER THE WINTER, UH, WE ESTABLISH A, A KIND OF A FORMAL, UH, ROUTINE MONITORING PLAN, UM, TO CAPTURE THE ONSET OF THE BLOOMS, UH, IN COLLABORATION WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, THEY WOULD CONTINUE TO EXTRACT AND ANALYZE OUR SAMPLES.

UM, THEY WOULD ALSO DO SPECIES

[00:45:01]

IDENTIFICATION.

UH, WE SAMPLED, UH, WE ACTUALLY SAMPLED FIVE SITES, UH, ON LADY BIRD LAKE.

UH, WHAT'S NOT SHOWN IN THIS TABLE IS, UH, BARTON CREEK BECAUSE THERE WERE, UH, NO ALGAE, UH, PRESENT.

SO THERE WAS OBVIOUSLY NO, UH, WE DON'T LEAVE THOSE ANY TOXINS PRESENT, OR YOU CAN SEE LOOKING AT THIS TABLE, UM, OF THE OTHER SITES THAT WERE MONITORED, UH, WITHIN A SITE, THERE'S A LOT OF VARIATION IN THE AMOUNT OF TOXIN PRESENT AND, UH, AMONGST THE SITES RED BLOOD AISLE, UH, HAD THE HIGHEST AVERAGE TOXIN CONTENTS, UM, AND THOSE CONTENTS DECLINED AS YOU MOVED, UH, DOWN RIVER.

AND THEN, YOU KNOW, THIS IS KIND OF CONSISTENT 2019, UH, YOU KNOW, THE MOST DOG DEATHS WERE AT REDBUD AND, UH, UH, YOU KNOW, THAT THOSE A COUPLE OF ILLNESSES THAT AUDITORIUM SHORES, UM, SO THIS, YOU KNOW, FITS THAT, THAT IS, YOU KNOW, KIND OF THE MOST TOXIC, UH, AREA OF THE RESERVOIR.

UNFORTUNATELY, NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

, UH, AMONGST ALL OF THE MONITORING DATA THAT WAS COLLECTED OUT THERE.

I MEAN, THERE WAS, UH, YOU KNOW, FOR THOSE THAT WANT TO DIVE INTO IT MORE, I'M HAPPY TO, UH, TO, TO SHARE AND DISCUSS IT FURTHER.

UM, BUT WE, YOU KNOW, THERE WAS A WATER TEMPERATURE AND PH THAT WAS MEASURED HOURLY, UM, UH, CLIMATIC, UH, ATTRIBUTES.

THERE WAS DAILY DISCHARGES, UH, FROM THE, UH, TOM MILLER DAM.

WHAT I'M GOING TO SHOW YOU HERE IS REALLY, UH, WHAT IS KIND OF THE MAIN DRIVER, UH, OF TOXIC CYANOBACTERIA GROWTH GLOBALLY, AND THAT'S ELEVATED NUTRIENTS AND AT REDBUD AROUND AUDITORIUM SHORES AND SHOAL CREEK.

UM, WHAT WE SAW IN 2019 AND 2020 WAS A REAL SIGNIFICANT INCREASE, UH, IN AMMONIA CONCENTRATIONS, UH, AND IN PHOSPHORUS CONCENTRATIONS.

UM, SO THESE ARE THE TWO KIND OF KEY ELEMENTS THAT KEY NUTRIENTS THAT DRIVE THIS, WHEN YOU GET AN EXCESS OF NITROGEN PHOSPHORUS, UH, THIS GIVES ARRIVES TO THE SIGN OF BACTERIA AND IN PARTICULAR, THERE'S A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NITRATE AND AMMONIA, UH, CYANOBACTERIA SEEM TO PREFER WHEN THERE'S LESS AMMONIA NITRATE PRESENT, AND THEY PREFER INSTEAD TO TAKE UP A MONIA.

UM, SO, YOU KNOW, THIS, AGAIN, THIS WAS KIND OF A SHIFT THAT, YOU KNOW, COMPARED TO OUR LONG-TERM MONITORING, UH, WE WERE ABLE TO OBSERVE IN 2019 AND 2020 IN THE ECOSYSTEM.

NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

UM, SO, YOU KNOW, I GUESS I'VE ALREADY KIND OF TIPPED MY HAND ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WHAT WAS IT THAT CHANGED? WHY 2019, ALL OF A SUDDEN DID WE S HAVE, UH, THESE TOXIC MATS, UH, APPEAR, YOU KNOW, PART OF IT COULD BE, THERE'S JUST A LOT MORE RECREATIONAL USE, UM, AT OUR PARKS, UH, AUSTIN IS A VERY DOG FRIENDLY CITY.

UH, YOU KNOW, SO THE POTENTIAL FOR INTERACTIONS IS A LOT HIGHER.

UM, BUT, YOU KNOW, LOOKING AT ECOSYSTEM ATTRIBUTES, UH, YOU KNOW, WE, WE FELT THAT IT WAS THE NUTRIENT STORY IS WHAT CAUSED THIS, UH, STATE CHANGE IN THE ENVIRONMENT.

UM, AND IF YOU LOOK AT KIND OF WHAT PRECEDED 2019, UM, YOU HAVE, UH, ZEBRA MUSSELS COMING INTO, UH, THE HIGHLAND LAKES, 2017, 2018, AND REALLY START TO, UH, THRIVE YOU HAVE IN THE FALL OF 2018, A VERY LARGE SEDIMENT DEPOSITION EVENT.

I'M SURE EVERYBODY REMEMBERS THE HIGHLAND LAKES LOOKING LIKE CHOCOLATE MILK, UH, OUR DRINKING WATER SUPPLY, HAVING BOILED WATER NOTICES, UH, BECAUSE OF THE EXTREME TURBIDITY, UH, THAT, UH, OF OUR RESERVOIRS.

AND THIS IS A MASSIVE INFLUX OF INORGANIC AND ORGANIC MATERIAL THAT, UH, THESE SYSTEMS JUST REALLY DON'T HAVE THE RESILIENCY TO ABSORB.

UM, YOU KNOW, AND IF YOU LOOK, UH, AT, UH, YOU KNOW, IN, IN THE MIDWEST, UH, IN AGRICULTURALLY DOMINATED WATERSHEDS, THE MAGNITUDE OF SPRING RAINS IS ONE OF THE BEST PREDICTORS OF, UH, THE SEVERITY OF THE LATE SUMMER, UH, HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS, THE PLANKTONIC BLOOM.

SO THESE ARE KIND OF KNOWN RELATIONSHIPS, AND THESE WERE, YOU KNOW, UNFORTUNATELY KIND OF SYNERGISTIC STRESSORS THAT, UH, AFFLICTED IN PARTICULAR LADY BIRD LAKE, UH, RIGHT.

BUT RIGHT BEFORE 2019, THE OTHER ASPECT WAS ZEBRA MUSSELS, UH, HIGHLIGHTED, PHOSPHORUS AND AMMONIA.

THE RESEARCH IS PRETTY STRONG THAT ZEBRA MUSSELS IN THEIR FILTERING PROCESS, THEY'RE CLARIFYING THE WATER.

UH, THEY'RE REMOVING BENEFICIAL ALLERGY.

THEY'RE, TRANSLOCATING ALL THIS ORGANIC MATTER TO THE BOTTOM SEDIMENTS.

UH, THEY'RE PRODUCING SYDOW FECES.

UM, THEY'RE, THEY'RE RECYCLING NUTRIENTS AND

[00:50:01]

AMMONIA AND PHOSPHORUS TEND TO SPIKE, UM, IN ENVIRONMENTS WHERE, UH, WHERE THEY ARE FOUND.

SO AGAIN, ALL THESE THINGS KIND OF LINED UP, UH, AND, AND THE STORY FITS, UH, WHY WE HAVE THIS SUDDEN EMERGENCE.

AND IT'S PROBABLY NOT COINCIDENTAL THAT THE OTHER HIGHLAND LAKES THAT ARE NOW EXPERIENCING THE SAME TYPES OF BLOOMS, UH, ALSO HAVE VERY LARGE, UH, ZEBRA MUSSEL POPULATIONS NEXT, PLEASE, WHICH TAKES US TO THIS SUMMER'S MITIGATION PROJECT.

UM, YOU KNOW, 2019, UH, YOU KNOW, WE WERE KIND OF REACTING TO THE BLOOM.

WE WERE, YOU KNOW, TAKING SAMPLES, TRYING TO GET SOME ENVIRONMENTAL DATA AND REALLY JUST TRYING TO MAKE THE PUBLIC AWARE THAT THIS THREAT WAS OUT THERE.

UH, OVER THAT WINTER, WE DEVELOPED THIS MONITORING PLAN, UH, BECAUSE IN ORDER TO TRY TO ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM, YOU REALLY NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE DRIVERS, YOU KNOW, RIGHT AFTER, UH, THE MEDIA STARTED REPORTING THESE DOG DEATHS.

UM, I HAD, YOU KNOW, A DOZEN DIFFERENT COMPANIES REACH OUT AND, UM, YOU KNOW, RECOMMENDED VARIOUS, UH, TREATMENTS AND POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM, BUT WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE WERE MINDFUL ABOUT HOW WE ADDRESS IT, UH, HOW WE UTILIZE, UH, THE TAXPAYER MONEY AND THE FACT THAT LADY BIRD LAKE IS SUCH, UH, AN IMPORTANT RECREATIONAL WATER BODY.

UH, IT'S VERY, YOU KNOW, IT'S THE CROWN JEWEL OF AUSTIN, RIGHT? DOWNTOWN, UH, HIGH PROFILE.

UM, YOU KNOW, SO WE WANTED TO, UH, REALLY BE, UH, MINDFUL OF WHAT WE DID.

SOMETHING THAT WOULD HAS A GOOD TRACK RECORD IS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY.

UM, AND THAT W W WE THOUGHT WOULD HAVE A GOOD LIKELIHOOD OF SOME SUCCESS AND COULD GET AT, UH, THE DRIVER, AS OPPOSED TO JUST THE PROBLEM.

IT'S REALLY EASY TO KILL A CYANOBACTERIA.

UM, UNFORTUNATELY MOST, UH, AL DECIDES, AND, AND THOSE TYPES OF TREATMENTS, UH, NEGATIVELY IMPACT OTHER AQUATIC ORGANISMS. YOU MIGHT RELEASE TOXINS INTO THE WATER, SO THAT'S NOT REALLY BENEFICIAL.

SO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO IS YOU WANT TO TRY TO GET AT THE NUTRIENT PROBLEM.

SO WE'RE PROPOSING A KIND OF A TWO-PRONGED APPROACH TO TRY TO REMOVE AS MUCH OF THESE ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS FROM THE WATER AND FROM THE SEDIMENTS AS POSSIBLE.

UM, AND THIS IS KIND OF REMOVING IN THE SENSE OF EITHER A REVERSELY BINDING, UM, AND BEARING IT OR BINDING AND PHYSICALLY TAKING IT OUT.

I SAID, WE'LL GO THROUGH BOTH OF THOSE, UH, NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

UH, SO THE FIRST, UH, APPROACH, UM, THE ONE THAT WAS PART OF THE MEDIA RELEASE, UH, YESTERDAY, AND IS KIND OF GARNERING THE MOST ATTENTION, UM, THIS, UH, PROPOSAL, UH, CONTRACT IS SET TO GO BEFORE CITY COUNCIL NEXT WEEK FOR FINAL APPROVAL.

UH, THIS IS A CONTRACT THAT WE HAVE ESTABLISHED WITH, UH, C PRO CORPORATION.

AND THIS IS FOR, UH, THE APPLICATION OF A COMPOUND KNOWN AS FOSS LOCK.

UM, THIS IS, UH, ESSENTIALLY A CLAY, UH, THAT'S BEEN MODIFIED, UM, BY, UH, ADDING, UH, THE COMPOUND, UH, LANTHANUM ONTO THE CLAY.

UH, SO THIS IS A PROPRIETARY, UH, PRODUCT.

UM, AGAIN, FOSSE LOCK, I'LL JUST REFER TO IT AS THAT FROM NOW ON, INSTEAD OF A LMB, WHICH IS HOW, UH, IT'S SHORTHAND IN THE LITERATURE.

UH, THIS HAS BEEN, UH, GLOBALLY USED, UH, TO TREAT LAKES AND PONDS, UH, AND, AND OTHER WATER BODIES, UM, LANTHANUM, UM, IS, HAS BEEN USED, UH, IN MEDICAL TREATMENTS FOR PEOPLE BECAUSE OF ITS PHOSPHORUS, BINDING, UH, CAPABILITIES, YOU KNOW, SO SOMEONE THAT HAS A KIDNEY DISEASE, THEY CAN'T PROCESS PHOSPHOROUS.

UM, THEY DO A LANTHANUM TREATMENT.

SO THIS IS SOMETHING THAT, UH, IS EXTREMELY ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY AND BENIGN, UH, BUT IS A KNOWN, UH, PRODUCT TO STRIP AWAY, UH, PHOSPHORUS, AS YOU CAN SEE IN THE PICTURE, THIS IS, YOU KNOW, BASICALLY WHAT IT'LL LOOK LIKE AS THE CONTRACTOR IS, UH, PUTTERING AROUND RED BUD AISLE THIS SUMMER.

UH, WE'RE GOING TO DO A TARGET ABOUT 20 ACRES, UM, INJECTING THIS KIND OF FLOCCULENT, UH, FOSSE LOCK INTO THE WATER COLUMN.

UH, IT'LL SETTLE OUT.

AND AS IT'S DROPPING THROUGH THE WATER COLUMN, IT'LL SCAVENGE, UH, PHOSPHATE.

AND THEN ONCE IT GETS ONTO THE SEDIMENT SURFACE, AND THIS IS KIND OF REALLY WHERE IT'S IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY WITH THE TYPES OF PROLIFERATIONS, WE HAVE, IT'LL CREATE KIND OF A CAP, UH, ON THE SEDIMENT AND IN THE TOP COUPLE OF CENTIMETERS OF THE SEDIMENT AND IT'LL SCAVENGE AND BIND THAT PHOSPHOROUS,

[00:55:01]

MAKING IT IRREVERSIBLY UNAVAILABLE TO SIGN A BACTERIA AND WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT.

YOU KNOW, THESE, THESE MATS ARE GROWING AT THE SEDIMENT WATER INTERFACE.

THESE ARE NOT SINGLE CELLS FLOATING IN THE WATER, TRYING TO FIND, UH, THE LITTLE BIT OF PHOSPHORUS THAT'S AVAILABLE IN THE WATER.

THEY HAVE ACCESS TO NOT ONLY THE WATER PHOSPHOROUS THAT'S FLOWING ON TOP OF THEM, BUT IN THESE NUTRIENT RICH LOW OXYGEN SEDIMENTS PHOSPHORUS IS BEING RELEASED.

THE PRESENCE OF OXYGEN FOSTER, A SENSE OF BIND WITH OTHER COMPOUNDS, ABSENCE OF OXYGEN.

IT BECOMES LIBERATED, AND YOU GET, WHAT'S KNOWN AS INTERNAL EUTROPHICATION OF A WATER BODY BY THIS LEGACY PHOSPHORUS.

SO BY DROPPING THE PHOS LOCK INTO THE SEDIMENTS, IT IS BINDING UP THAT PHOSPHOROUS, AND IT IS NO LONGER BEING LIBERATED IN THE ABSENCE OF OXYGEN.

IT'S AN ALERT ACCESSIBLE THROUGH ENZYMATIC ACTIVITY.

IT IS JUST PART OF THE CLAY COMPOUND AND IT IS BURIED IN THERE.

SO YOU'RE REDUCING THAT AVAILABLE BIOAVAILABLE LEGACY PHOSPHORUS.

SO THAT'S WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT DOING.

UH, THE BOTTOM PICTURE THERE AGAIN, THIS IS, YOU KNOW, RELATIVE TO, UH, THIS WAS FOR A PLANK TONIC BLOOM, UM, BUT WHEN YOU STARVE THE SIGN OF BACTERIA OF THIS ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT, THERE BIO-MASS IS A LOT LOWER ON NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

NO THAT'S GETTING AT THE SEDIMENT NUTRIENTS.

UM, AND AGAIN, THIS IS KIND OF A, THERE'S TWO POSSIBLE SOURCES OF NUTRIENTS.

THE OTHER, UH, APPROACH THAT WE'RE GOING TO USE IS BY PUTTING BIO CHAR, UH, AROUND RED BUD AISLE, AND BIO CHAR IS BASICALLY A CHARCOAL, UH, ACTIVATED CARBON.

UM, YOU KNOW, THIS, THESE ARE WELL KNOWN TECHNOLOGIES IN WATER PURIFICATION, AND IT'S JUST COMBUSTING ORGANIC MATTER TREES, PLANTS, ET CETERA, UH, IN THE ABSENCE OF OXYGEN.

AND WHAT YOU CREATE, UM, IS THIS AMAZING, UM, MICRO POROUS STRUCTURE THAT HAS A LOT OF IONIC SITES AVAILABLE TO IT.

SO AS WATER'S FLOWING THROUGH THESE TWO FOOT LONG BAGS THAT I'VE COMICALLY PUT ONTO THIS MAP, UM, IT IS BEING FILTERED LIKE A BRITA FILTER, UH, OR WHAT YOU'D HAVE FOR A POOL FILTER.

UH, IT IS REMOVING A FINE PARTICULATE MATTER, UH, AND IT IS GOING TO BIND, UM, ANY IONIC NUTRIENTS IN THE WATER, WHETHER THAT'S, UH, METALS, PHOSPHOROUS, AMMONIA, NITRATE, UH, STUDIES IN PONDS AND IN LABORATORY SETTINGS HAVE SHOWN A BIO CHAR TO REDUCE THE CONCENTRATIONS OF ALL THOSE COMPONENTS.

SO WE'RE GOING TO LOOK, UH, WE'RE GOING TO DEPLOY THESE, UH, IN THE NEXT WEEK, UH, LEAVE THEM OUT FOR THE DURATION OF THE SUMMER, UM, AND REMOVE THAT.

AND THAT WILL, UH, YOU KNOW, PULL ALL OF THOSE NUTRIENTS AND MATERIALS OUT OF LADY BIRD LAKE.

AND AGAIN, IT SAYS KIND OF, UH, UH, ACTIVE COMPETITIONS BETWEEN THE FOSSIL LOCK AND THE BIO CHAR SCAVENGING, THESE NUTRIENTS, MAKING THEM UNAVAILABLE FOR THE CYANOBACTERIA TO HOPEFULLY MITIGATE THERE AND REDUCE THEIR GROWTH AND POTENTIAL TOXICITY.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

SO TO KIND OF RECAP EVERYTHING THAT'S GOING TO BE GOING ON, UH, WITH THESE VARIOUS PROJECTS, WE ARE CONTINUING OUR ROUTINE MONITORING, UH, THAT WAS STARTED IN 2020, UH, WITH A SLIGHT MODIFICATION.

UH, WE'RE ONLY DOING THREE SITES IN LADY BIRD LAKE THIS SUMMER RED, BUT I'LL AUDITORIUM SHORES AND FESTIVAL BOAT RAMP.

UH, BUT WE ARE ADDING THREE SITES ON LAKE AUSTIN AND A SITE AT WALTER REED LONG.

SO SAMPLES, WE WILL BE GOING OUT BIWEEKLY, UH, LOOKING FOR ALGAE.

IF WE SEE ALGAE COLLECTING IT ALONG WITH WATER, TAKING IT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SO THAT WE CAN DOCUMENT, UH, TOXICITY, UH, FOR COMPARISON WITH LAST YEAR, UH, WATER CHEMISTRY IS COLLECTED AS PART OF THE ROUTINE MONITORING PLAN.

UH, WE HAVE SITES THAT WILL BE, UH, YOU KNOW, RIGHT THERE, KIND OF IN THE MIDST OF THE FOSSIL LOCK AND THE BIO CHAR TREATMENTS.

AND WE HAVE CONTROL SITES, UM, ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF REDBUD AISLE.

UH, SO WE WILL BE ABLE TO COMPARE, UH, MAIN FLOW CHANNEL VERSUS THE OFFLINE CHANNEL, UH, NUTRIENT DYNAMICS.

WE'RE GOING TO TAKE SAMPLES BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THESE TREATMENTS.

SO WE CAN LOOK TO SEE, UM, HOW THESE DYNAMICS ARE CHANGING THROUGH TIME, UH, WITH C PRO, UH, THEY'RE ALSO GOING TO BE DOING A SEQUENTIAL EXTRACTION OF THE SEDIMENTS.

UM, AND BASICALLY WHAT THIS, UH, IS MEANT TO QUANTIFY AND DEMONSTRATE IS THAT WE TRULY HAVE A SHIFT, UM, IN THE PHOSPHOROUS POOLS WITHIN THE SEDIMENTS.

UM, SO, UH, IN

[01:00:01]

THEORY RIGHT NOW AND WHAT WE SHOULD VERIFY WHEN WE DO OUR INITIAL ANALYSES IS THAT THERE IS A LOT OF PHOSPHORUS THAT'S BIOAVAILABLE, AND WHAT BASED ON THE LITERATURE SHOULD HAPPEN AFTER WE'VE DONE THE, UH, THE, THE FASAB TREATMENTS IS THAT YOU GET A REDUCTION IN THOSE BIOAVAILABLE, UH, NUTRIENT POOLS.

AND IT SHIFTS THAT PHOSPHORUS TO WHAT IS, UH, IRREVERSIBLY BOUND FRACTIONS INSTEAD.

AND IT TAKES, UH, YOU KNOW, IN THE LABORATORY, UH, YOU COULD USE EXTRACT ANTS, ACIDS, STRONG BASES THAT ARE NOT AVAILABLE OR TYPICAL IN THE ENVIRONMENT TO QUANTIFY THAT.

NOW ALL THAT SAID, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE, THERE HAVE BEEN SOME QUESTIONS THAT HAVE COME UP, YOU KNOW, AFTER THIS TREATMENT, IS IT THEN GOING TO BE SAFE FOR DOGS TO, YOU KNOW, GET RIGHT BACK INTO THE WATER.

AND, YOU KNOW, WE'RE STILL URGING CAUTION AND LADY BIRD LAKE.

THIS IS A PILOT PROJECT.

UH, THIS RESERVOIR SYSTEMS ARE VERY UNIQUE.

UM, YOU KNOW, SO WHILE THE ACTIVITIES OF THESE, UH, MATERIALS ARE WELL KNOWN EXACTLY HOW MUCH IT'LL AFFECT, UH, THE CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXICITY IS NOT YET KNOWN.

AND SO THAT IS OBVIOUSLY A PART OF THIS RESEARCH, UH, TO DOCUMENT THAT, TO TRACK THAT.

SO WE ARE URGING PEOPLE.

IF YOU SEE ALGAE STILL ASSUME IT'S TOXIC, UH, BE MINDFUL, KEEP YOUR DOGS OUT OF THE WATER DURING THE SUMMER, AVOID ANY INTERACTION WITH THE ALGAE.

AND, YOU KNOW, WE WILL CONTINUE TO UPDATE OUR WEBSITE, OUR DASHBOARDS, UH, WITH OBSERVATIONS, WITH DATA, UM, AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.

UM, AND AS, AS THIS PROJECT PROCEEDS LAST SLIDE.

OH YEAH, THERE, HERE WE GO.

UH, THIS IS JUST KIND OF, UH, SORRY, ONE MORE.

THERE WE GO.

UH, THIS IS JUST A, A BREAKDOWN OF THE, UH, CHAOTIC SCHEDULE THAT'S COMING UP.

UM, OBVIOUSLY WE'RE HERE AT JUNE 2ND.

I'M TALKING TO Y'ALL, UH, NEXT WEEK, THURSDAY, UH, IS, UH, WHEN COUNCIL, UH, WE'LL REVIEW THIS TRACKED, UH, UH, HOPING, ASSUMING, UM, APPROVAL, UH, C PRO IS GOING TO HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE HERE ON THE 14TH.

UM, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE THOSE INITIAL SAMPLES, SEDIMENT, WATER SAMPLES.

I HAVE MY ROUTINE SAMPLING THAT WEEK.

I'M GOING TO BE THE BIO CHAR SOCKS.

AND THEN THE WEEK OF THE 21ST, WE WILL BEGIN OUR FIRST FOSSE LOCK TREATMENT.

UH, TREATMENTS WILL BE STAGGERED ABOUT THREE WEEKS, UH, WITH SAMPLING AGAIN OCCURRING, UH, IN BETWEEN AND AFTER EACH OF THOSE TREATMENTS, UH, SO THAT WE CAN TRACK, UH, THE, UH, THE PHOSPHOROUS POOLS THAT ARE OUT THERE.

AND THEN THE, UH, THE, THE KIND OF LONGER-TERM VISION AND GOAL IS NEXT YEAR.

UM, WE HAVE THIS CONTRACT, UH, BEING SET UP SO THAT IT CAN BE RENEWED FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS, UH, SO THAT WE CAN REVISIT RED, BUT I'LL WITH C PRO, UH, NEXT SPRING BEFORE THE BLOOM SEASON.

AND WE CAN EVALUATE WHAT THESE FOSTER'S POOLS LOOK LIKE.

YOU KNOW, SO AFTER, UH, FALL WINTER AND SPRING RAIN AND SEDIMENT EVENTS, YOU KNOW, HAVE WE COMPLETELY RESET THE SYSTEM AND THE GATED, THE PROGRESS WE MADE THIS YEAR, DO WE STILL SEE FAVORABLE CONDITIONS? DO WE STILL SEE A SHIFT IN THE PHOSPHOROUS DYNAMICS? SO THOSE ARE THINGS THAT WE'LL BE LOOKING AT IN THE SHORT AND, UH, LONGER TERM NOW, LESS THANKS SO MUCH, DR.

BELLENGER.

UM, I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU COMING