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HELLO, AND

[00:00:01]

WELCOME TO THE REGULAR MEETING

[CALL TO ORDER]

OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION.

UH, JUNE 15TH, 2022 AT 6:00 PM.

UM, AND IT'S NOW 6:15 PM.

UH, UH, WE'RE HAVING A MEETING AT THE PERMITTING AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER EVENT CENTER, UH, ROOM 1, 4 0 6, LOCATED AT 6 3 1 0 WILHELMINA DELCO DRIVE, AUSTIN, TEXAS 7 8 7 5 2.

UM, LET'S BEGIN WITH A ROLL CALL.

COMMISSIONER QURESHI, COMMISSIONER SCOTT COMMISSIONER THOMPSON, PERMISSION TO SHEERA HERE.

COMMISSIONER BARRETT, PRESIDENT COMMISSIONER NICHOLS, SECRETARY BRISTOL HERE, CHAIR ROMBERG, COMMISSIONER AGUIRRE, COMMISSIONER BRIMER HERE AND COMMISSIONER BEDFORD EAR.

UM, LET'S BEGIN

[PUBLIC COMMUNICATION: GENERAL]

WITH THE PUBLIC COMMUNICATION.

UM, WE HAVE ONE SPEAKER, UH, CARLOS SOTO.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, COMMISSIONER.

GOOD AFTERNOON EVERYBODY.

AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO YOU TODAY ABOUT COMMUNITY ADVANCEMENT NETWORK OR CANT.

KEN IS A PARTNERSHIP OF GOVERNMENT NON-PROFIT PRIVATE AND FAITH BASED ORGANIZATIONS, WHICH LEVERAGED MUTUAL RESOURCES TO COLLECTIVELY IMPROVE SOCIAL HEALTH, EDUCATIONAL AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES IN OUR COMMUNITY.

WE HAVE A VARIETY OF PARTNERS FROM GOVERNMENT EDUCATION, TRANSPORTATION, HEALTH, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, HIGHER EDUCATION, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND COLLABORATIVE PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS.

AND TOGETHER WE'VE BEEN PROMOTING AND SUPPORTING THE POWER OF COLLABORATION FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS.

WE WORK AT IDENTIFYING OPPORTUNITIES TO COORDINATE AND ALIGN SERVICES AMONG CAM PARTNERS AND OTHER COMMUNITY SERVICE PROVIDERS.

WE ALSO SUPPORT EFFORTS TO ADDRESS COMMUNITY CHALLENGES THROUGH COLLECTIVE ACTION.

UM, AND WE CREATE CIVIC INFRASTRUCTURE FOR CIVIC DIALOGUE AND CIVIC ACTION.

AND WE TRY TO ENSURE THAT THE RIGHT STAIR STAKEHOLDERS ARE PART OF ASSESSING AND ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGES THAT OUR COMMUNITY FACES.

UM, AND WE WORK TO INCREASE UNDERSTANDING OF EMERGING ISSUES AND TRENDS AND IDENTIFYING PROACTIVE STRATEGIES THAT MAY BE PURSUED.

SEE, ONE OF OUR MAJOR MAJOR EFFORTS IS TO DE DUPLICATE EFFORTS, RIGHT, AND TRY TO ALIGN EVERYBODY'S EFFORTS SO THAT WE CAN USE OUR RESOURCES MORE EFFICIENTLY.

AND HOW DO WE DO THAT? UM, WE DEVELOP TOOLS TO INFORM, WE CREATE OPPORTUNITIES TO ENGAGE AND WE MAKE STRATEGIC CONNECTIONS.

UH, IN TERMS OF TOOLS FOR INFORMING, UH, THE CAN DASHBOARD IS ONE OF OUR BIG WORK PRODUCTS.

IT HAS 18 DIFFERENT INDICATORS IN A VARIETY OF ISSUE AREAS.

AND, UM, SPECIFICALLY FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION, UM, DRIVE ALONE TO WORK IS AN IMPORTANT INDICATOR BECAUSE, AND AIR QUALITY IS ANOTHER ONE TOO.

UM, WE RECENTLY DEVELOPED THE RACE EQUITY ACTION FRAMEWORK TO ASSESS LOCAL NEEDS AND IDENTITY, IDENTIFY WHERE MORE ATTENTION IS NEEDED.

AND WE'RE WORKING ON THE RIGHT NOW AND HOSTING A SERIES CALLED RACE EQUITY PRINCIPLES IN PRACTICE BECAUSE MANY OF US HAVE GONE TO TRAINING SUCH AS BEYOND DIVERSITY OR UNDOING RACISM.

AND WHEN WE'RE DONE, WE TRY TO, WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT WAYS OF HOW TO APPLY THOSE THINGS.

WE LEARN IN OUR DAILY LIVES AND IN OUR JOBS.

AND SO THAT'S WHAT THE PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES FOR AND CREATING OPPORTUNITIES TO ENGAGE.

WE CREATED THE WEEKEND ATX WEBSITE, WHICH HAS INFORMATION AND ENGAGEMENT, UH, FOR COMMUNITY RESOURCES TO ADDRESS THE COVID RESPONSE IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES.

AND, UM, LANGUAGE ACCESS IS AN IMPORTANT ASPECT OF OUR WORK TOO.

UM, AND WE ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON A MENTAL HEALTH AND LANGUAGE ACCESS BECAUSE MANY TIMES MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AREN'T AVAILABLE IN LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH OR SPANISH, YOU KNOW? SO, UM, THAT'S A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT WE DO.

WE'D LOVE TO, YOU KNOW, PRESENT MORE ABOUT SOME DATA OR ANYTHING THAT YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED.

SO PLEASE REACH OUT AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

OKAY.

NEXT UP

[1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND ACTION]

ON AGENDA IS THE APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES AND ACTION.

UM, HAVE, HAS ALL THE, HAS EVERYONE HAD A CHANCE TO LOOK AT THOSE MINUTES? I SAID, MOVE TO PASS THE MINUTES.

OKAY.

WE HAVE A MOTION TO PASS THE MINUTES BY, UH, SECRETARY BRISTOL.

DO WE HAVE A SECOND? WE HAVE A SECOND BY COMMISSIONER.

BRIMER ALL THOSE IN FAVOR.

RAISE YOUR HANDS.

[00:05:04]

OKAY.

AND IT LOOKS LIKE THE MOTION IS THAT IT IS UNANIMOUS.

OKAY.

NEXT UP ON, UH,

[2a. Update on Austin’s reservoirs monitoring and management efforts—Brent Bellinger, Environmental Scientist, Watershed Protection Department (30 minutes)]

ON, ON THE AGENDA, WE HAVE ITEM TWO, A STAFF BRIEFINGS.

UM, WE HAVE AN UPDATE ON AUSTIN'S RESERVOIRS MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT EFFORTS BY, UH, BRENT BELLINGER.

AND I BELIEVE WE HAVE A PRESENTATION.

UH, THERE IS A PRESENTATION, UM, ONCE IT'S UP, LET ME KNOW.

WE'LL DO, CAN YOU HEAR ME FINE OVER THERE? YES, WE CAN.

I JUST WANT TO SAY WELCOME TO, UM, COMMISSIONERS NICHOLS AND THOMPSON AS WELL.

HI.

COULD I SAY SOMETHING? HELLO? THAT'LL GO AHEAD.

COMMISSIONER THOMPSON, FORGIVE ME FOR INTERRUPTING, BUT I THINK SOME PEOPLE HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE LINK.

KEVIN ASKED ME TO FORWARD IT.

I'M HAVING TROUBLE FORWARDING THE LINK.

SO COULD YOU PLEASE CALL THEM AND MAKE SURE THEY HAVE THE LINK? I ACTUALLY JUST FORWARDED HIM THE LINK AS WELL, IF THAT HELPS.

OH, I'M SO SORRY TO INTERFERE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

IT'S IT'S UM, SEVERAL OTHER COMMISSIONERS AS WELL.

YEAH.

UM, MISSIONARY THOMPSON.

YEAH, WE APOLOGIZE.

WE'RE HAVING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, BUT WE ALL WORKING ON TRYING TO SEND THE, UM, THE CORRECT LINK TO THE REMAINING VIRTUAL COMMISSIONERS RIGHT NOW.

THANK YOU.

WE'RE JUST A, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE TWO MINUTES.

UH, IF THAT'S OKAY.

UM, FOR HIM TO UPLOAD FOLKS TO THE SYSTEM, HE CAN'T BE IN PRESENTATION MODE.

SO IF WE DO TWO MINUTES UPLOAD, WE HAVE THOSE OTHER FOLKS JOINED BEFORE WE DIG INTO DR.

PRESENTATION.

SORRY ABOUT THIS.

THANK YOU.

COMMISSIONERS.

JUST WANTED TO SAY KATIE COYNE, ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICERS.

SO SORRY ABOUT THE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, BUT GLAD Y'ALL HAVE JOINED US AT THIS POINT.

I THINK WE'RE GOING TO BE GOOD FROM HERE ON OUT.

I'LL HAND IT BACK TO, UH, COMMISSIONER BEDFORD.

THANK YOU EVERYBODY.

UM, WE HAVE YOUR PRESENTATION UP, UH, BRANDS, IF YOU'RE READY.

GO.

YEP.

UM, I CAN SEE IT.

UH, WELL THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

UM, IT'S BEEN A FEW YEARS SINCE I'VE DONE MY LAST PRESENTATION TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION.

UM, SO THERE'S PROBABLY QUITE A FEW NEW FACES OUT THERE, UM, THAT I HAVEN'T BEEN FORMALLY INTRODUCED TO.

UM, I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE QUESTIONS AND TO PROVIDE THIS UPDATE, UM, ON SOME OF THE WORK THAT'S BEEN ONGOING, UH, WITH THE RESERVOIRS, UH, I'LL BE FOCUSING ON LAST YEAR, BUT THESE ARE, UH, GENERALLY MULTI-YEAR EFFORTS.

UH, NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

[00:10:05]

UH, SO SOME OF THOSE, UH, PROJECTS, I I'LL BE TOUCHING ON SOME OF THESE, UH, TODAY.

UM, THIS IS JUST A, KIND OF A QUICK SUMMARY OF PROJECTS THAT ARE, UH, GENERALLY MULTI-YEAR, UH, IN THEIR SCOPE.

UM, THE FIRST ONE, THE AUSTIN LAKES INDEX, UH, THIS IS KIND OF OUR BROAD, UM, MONITORING OF THE OVERALL HEALTH AND CONDITION OF THE RESERVOIRS, UH, SIMILAR DEVELOPED IN THE SAME VEIN AS THE ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY INDEX, WHICH IS UTILIZED TO SCORE, UM, THE CREEKS AROUND THE CITY.

SO THAT'S BEEN GOING ON, UH, WELL, BEFORE MY TENURE HERE.

UM, SO THERE'S SOMETHING, YOU KNOW, 15 OR SO 20 YEARS WORTH OF DATA FROM THAT MONITORING.

UM, I'VE BEEN, UH, ACTIVELY INVOLVED WITH, UH, NATIVE PLANT RESTORATION, UH, FOCUSED PRIMARILY, UH, ON LAKE AUSTIN.

UM, I KIND OF STARTED HERE EIGHT YEARS AGO, UH, WHICH WAS, UH, AS THE HYDRILLA, UH, WAS MAKING HIS LAST GASP IN LAKE AUSTIN.

AND SO WE'VE BEEN ACTIVELY WORKING TO RESTORE, UH, THE NATIVE VEGETATION, UM, OUT THERE.

UM, WE DO A LOT OF COLLABORATIONS.

UH, ONE OF THE ONES I'M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT IS WITH ARTS AND WILDLIFE, UH, TO MONITOR THE FISHERIES, OBVIOUSLY LAKE AUSTIN IS A WELL-RENOWNED BASS FISHERY.

UH, SO WE, UM, I HELP ASSIST IN THOSE MONITORING EFFORTS, UH, ZEBRA MUSSELS, A NEW INVADER TO THE SYSTEM.

UM, SO IN 2019 BEGAN MONITORING THE ADULT POPULATIONS, UH, THIS KIND OF COINCIDES WITH LCRA WHO MONITORS THE VILLAGERS, UH, WHICH ARE THE LARVAL FORMS AS ZEBRA MUSSELS THAT ARE FLOATING AROUND THE WATER COLUMN BEFORE THEY GET SETTLED, UM, AND GROW INTO ADULTS.

AND THEN, UH, MORE RECENTLY, UM, BUT AGAIN, AS, AS YOU KNOW, AN ONGOING PROJECT IS THE HARMFUL ALGAL PROLIFERATION.

UM, YOU PROBABLY MORE COMMONLY HEAR IT REFERRED TO AS BLOOMS, UM, FOR THE PURPOSES OF KIND OF, UH, NOMENCLATURE AND TO AVOID CONFUSION BLOOMS, WE UTILIZE, UH, DISCUSS PLANKTONIC FREE-FLOATING CYANOBACTERIA GROWTH RAZ PROLIFERATIONS OUR COHESIVE MATS, WHICH IS WHAT WE HAVE HERE IN AUSTIN NEXT, UH, OOPS, TOO FAR.

IT WAS ONE MORE BULLET AT THE BOTTOM OF THAT PAGE.

I JUST WANTED TO HIGHLIGHT, YOU KNOW, UM, YOU KNOW, BESIDES, UH, THESE, UH, LONG LONGER-TERM MONITORING PROJECTS, UH, WE ARE ACTIVE, UH, WITH, UH, KIND OF SHORT-TERM PROJECTS, UH, BOTH INTERNALLY AND WITH STAKEHOLDERS AND GROUPS.

UH, ONE BEING THE NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT PROJECT THAT'S BEEN GOING ON.

THIS IS YEAR TWO OF A FIVE-YEAR PROJECT, UH, TO MANAGE SEDIMENT, PHOSPHORUS CONCENTRATIONS, UM, AND, UH, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, UH, BEYOND OUR COLLABORATION FOR, UH, STUDYING THE HARMFUL ALGAL PROLIFERATIONS.

UM, WE'VE HAD, UH, UT HAS REACHED OUT TO US, UH, TO LOOK AT A SEDIMENT BED FORM DYNAMICS, UH, SEDIMENT, DEPOSITION RATES, AND MICROPLASTICS, UH, SOME AREAS OF INCREASING CONCERN, UM, IN OUR AQUATIC, UH, BODIES OF WATER NEXT.

UH, SO I'LL KIND OF JUST THE REST OF THE PRESENTATION.

NOW WE'LL KIND OF JUST BE A LOT OF, UH, DATA SUMMARIES, UH, FOR, UH, SOME OF THOSE PROJECTS.

SO, UH, AGAIN, I'VE TRIED TO KEEP THIS IN ORDER OF, OF THE BULLETS AS I PRESENTED THEM, THIS, UH, REPRESENTS, UH, YOU KNOW, SEMI, UH, BUSY, BUT LUCKILY YOU GUYS HAVE PRINTOUTS OF THIS PRESENTATION, SO YOU CAN LOOK AT US AT YOUR LEISURE.

UH, BUT ESSENTIALLY WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS FOR THE AUSTIN LAKES INDEX.

UH, THESE ARE ALL THE DIFFERENT COMPONENTS OF THE AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM THAT WE LOOK AT EVERY YEAR, EITHER IN, UH, ONCE A YEAR, COLLECTING DATA WITH SOME OF THE METRICS, UH, WE SAMPLED MONTHLY OR BI-MONTHLY, AND WE COME UP WITH THIS COMPOSITE SCORE, AS YOU CAN SEE AMONGST THE VARIOUS COMPONENTS, UH, THE BARS THAT ARE IN THERE, THERE'S A LOT OF VARIABILITY, UM, WITHIN A RESERVOIR AND BETWEEN RESERVOIRS, UH, BUT THE HORIZONTAL BLACK LINES THAT GIVES OUR AVERAGE SCORE.

AND, UH, YOU CAN SEE THAT IN 2021, UH, THAT AVERAGE SCORE WE'VE GENERALLY FELL IN THE FAIR, YOU KNOW, KIND OF, UH, UH, CATEGORY, UM, AS, AS WE'VE DEFINED IT PREVIOUSLY NEXT OUT TO PUT THAT DATA INTO CONTEXT, AS I MENTIONED, UH, THIS MONITORING HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR A WHILE AND SINCE 2010, IN GENERAL, ALL THREE RESERVOIRS, AGAIN, A LITTLE BIT OF INTER-ANNUAL ANNUAL VARIABILITY, BUT IN GENERAL, UH, THEY MAINTAIN A FAIR TO GOOD, UM, OVERALL CONDITION AT WHICH IT IS NICE.

OBVIOUSLY WE'D LIKE TO SEE THAT A LITTLE BIT HIGHER, UH, BUT THESE ARE VERY COMPLEX ECOSYSTEMS AND THERE'S A LOT OF DRIVERS AND THINGS THAT AFFECT

[00:15:01]

THOSE SCORES.

AND SO, YOU KNOW, THINGS JUST KIND OF TREND TOWARDS THIS, UH, MEDIAN NEXT.

AND JUST TO KIND OF GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE.

THESE ARE, AGAIN, TWO OF THOSE SUB COMPONENTS THAT GO INTO THAT OVERALL SCORE.

UH, THIS IS THE WATER QUALITY AND OUR BENTHIC MACRO INVERTEBRATES, THE BUGS THAT LIVE IN THE SEDIMENTS AND WITHIN A RESERVOIR BETWEEN YEARS, YOU CAN HAVE A LOT OF VARIATION.

UM, FOR EXAMPLE, ON LAKE AUSTIN, YOU KNOW, WE'VE SEEN A WATER QUALITY AS HIGH AS 80, UH, THAT WAS KIND OF AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DROUGHT IN 2011 AND A CRASH, YOU KNOW, DOWN AROUND 62 AS WE'RE COMING OUT OF THAT DROUGHT.

UM, YOU KNOW, AND THIS WAS RELATED TO THE HYDRAULIC, UH, HYDROLOGY, UH, NUTRIENT DYNAMICS.

THIS IS BEFORE THE ZEBRA MUSSELS, YOU SEE THAT THERE IS IN GENERAL ACROSS THE RESERVOIRS WATER QUALITY HAS IMPROVED ALL THESE LAST FEW YEARS, UH, LIKELY INFLUENCED BY THE ZEBRA MUSSELS, UH, THE BENTHIC INVERTEBRATES, UH, THE MOST DRAMATIC KIND OF TREND THERE, UM, LADYBIRD LAKE AND LAKE AUSTIN TO A DEGREE, UM, JUST CHANGES IN, UH, THE RELATIVE COMPOSITION.

SO THERE'S, THERE'S A LOT THAT'S GOING ON OUT THERE WHEN WE'RE PRESENTING THESE OVERALL SCORES, UH, TO KEEP IN MIND EX UH, OUR REVEGETATION EFFORTS.

AGAIN, THIS WAS REALLY STIMULATED BY, UM, ALL OF THESE STOCKING OF THE AAA GRASS CARP, WHICH WERE UTILIZED TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE THE HYDRILLA THAT WAS, UH, KIND OF GROWING OUT OF CONTROL AND LAKE AUSTIN.

AND WHAT WE WANTED TO DO WAS ESTABLISH FOUNDER POPULATIONS, UM, OUT THERE IN PROTECTED ENCLOSURES, UH, WHERE THE WATERFALL, THE TURTLES AND THE GRASS CARP COULDN'T GET TO THE PLANTS NEXT.

UH, SO THIS IS KIND OF AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT ONE OF THOSE PENS LOOK LIKE, UH, A LONG PUBLIC LANDS.

UH, WE BUILD THESE OUT FROM SHORE APPROXIMATELY 20 FEET, UM, IN DEPTH AND, YOU KNOW, UPWARDS OF 50 FEET LONG.

UH, SO THESE ARE FAIRLY LARGE ENCLOSURES NEXT, UH, FROM A PLANTING.

YOU KNOW, IF WE PUT, UH, FOR EXAMPLE, THE PICTURE ON THE BOTTOM LEFT, UH, 36 1 GALLON PLANTS, UH, IN THE BEGINNING OF SUMMER, BY THE END OF SUMMER, THAT TOP RIGHT PICTURE IS WHAT THOSE VEGETATION PENS CAN LOOK LIKE.

SO THERE'S A LOT OF PENT-UP POTENTIAL, IF YOU WILL, UM, FOR PLANT GROWTH IN LAKE AUSTIN, UH, IT REALLY WANTS TO SUPPORT PLANTS.

THERE'S STILL JUST KIND OF ENOUGH HERBIVORY OUT THERE BETWEEN THE TURTLES AND THE WATERFALL AND THE REMNANT GRASS CARP, UM, THAT WE HAVEN'T SEEN SIGNIFICANT SPREAD, UM, OUTSIDE OF THOSE CAGES YET, NEXT IS JUST A, ANOTHER PICTURE.

THIS IS ACTUALLY FROM LADY BIRD LAKE, UM, KIND OF SUFFERED, UH, THE SAME, UM, AS LAKE AUSTIN, AS THE GRASS CARP WERE MOVING THROUGH THE RESERVOIR SYSTEM.

UM, ESPECIALLY DURING SOME OF THE LARGE FLOOD EVENTS, UM, YOU KNOW, THE, THE RESERVOIRS KIND OF FUNCTIONING AS THESE, UH, TURGID VEINS AND THE GRASS CARP, UH, YOU KNOW, BEING SWOLLEN IN THE RIVERS, BEING PUSHED THROUGH THE DAM.

AND THEY WERE PRETTY HIGH DENSITIES, UM, IN LADYBIRD LAKE.

AND A LOT OF THE VEGETATION THAT WAS THERE WAS ALSO CONSUMED.

BUT SINCE THEN IN THESE CAGES, WE HAVE SUBMERGED PLANTS, FLOATING PLANTS AND EMERGENT PLANTS THAT ARE DOING REALLY WELL OUTSIDE OF THE CAGES.

SO, YOU KNOW, IT'S A TESTAMENT THAT THIS STRATEGY CAN WORK.

IT JUST TAKES A BIT OF TIME NEXT.

UH, I'VE MENTIONED ZEBRA MUSSELS A COUPLE OF TIMES, AGAIN, THERE'S BEAVER MUSCLES.

WE BELIEVE PROBABLY GOT INTO, UH, LAKE AUSTIN AND LADYBIRD LAKE PROBABLY AROUND 2016.

UH, IT DOES TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF TIME, UH, FOR THEM TO REALLY BECOME ESTABLISHED FOR THEIR POPULATIONS AT PEAK.

UM, WE ARE INTERESTED IN SEE YOUR MUSCLES, YOU KNOW, I SHOWED YOU THE WATER QUALITY GRAPH, ZEBRA MUSCLES THAT ARE, WHAT'S KNOWN AS ECOSYSTEM ENGINEERS, UM, BECAUSE EACH INDIVIDUAL, UH, CAN FILTER A GALLON OF WATER A DAY.

AND IF YOU'RE LOOKING AT THAT GRAPH RIGHT THERE, THESE ARE S UM, AVERAGE POPULATION DENSITIES AND LAKE AUSTIN, THE BLACK CIRCLES AND LADY BIRD LAKE, THE OPEN CIRCLES.

AND THAT'S A LOG SCALE THAT YOU HAVE ON THE Y ACCESS.

SO WE'RE TALKING AVERAGE DENSITIES OF THREE TO 4,000 ZEBRA MUSSELS IN A ONE SQUARE METER PLOT.

SO WHERE THEY HAVE ADEQUATE SUBSTRATE, THEY FORM THESE EXTREMELY DENSE, UM, POPULATIONS.

UM, OF COURSE, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE THEN, UH, IF THEY'RE WAITING IN THERE WALKING UP ROCKS, THEY CAN CUT THEIR FEET, THEIR HANDS.

UM, BUT THE SIDE EFFECT OF THAT, OF COURSE, UM, IS THE WATER QUALITY IS WHAT WE'RE MOST CONCERNED WITH AS THEY'RE CLEANING THE

[00:20:01]

WATER OF DESIRED ALLERGY.

UM, TRANSLOCATING ALL THOSE NUTRIENTS TO THE BOTTOM SEDIMENTS, INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF, OF SUNLIGHT GETTING TO THE BOTTOM SEDIMENTS.

THIS CAN RESHAPE FUNDAMENTAL SHIFTS, UH, ACROSS THE ECOSYSTEM.

UH, AND THAT WAS INTERESTING IN THAT GRAPH.

YOU NOTICE, ESPECIALLY IN LADY BIRD LAKE, A CRASH IN 2020 IN THE POPULATION, UH, LAKE GLOSS, AND ALSO A DECLINE IN POPULATION, UH, NOT QUITE AS DRAMATIC, UH, UH, NEXT SLIDE OR NEXT, UM, THING.

UH, THIS IS, YOU KNOW, KIND OF, UH, A BREAKDOWN OF SOME OF THOSE PATTERNS AT THE DIFFERENT MONITORING SITES.

SO IT'S, AGAIN, THERE'S A LOT OF VARIABILITY WITHIN THE SYSTEM, BUT WHAT'S MOST INTERESTING IN THIS OVER THE YEARS IS, UH, THE ZEBRA MUSSELS BECAUSE OF HOW WARM IT IS HERE.

THEY'RE REACHING MATURITY AND ADULTHOODS MUCH QUICKER THAN THEY DO, LIKE IN THE MIDWEST WHERE WATER TEMPERATURES ARE COOLER AND THEY'RE ESSENTIALLY EATING THEMSELVES OUT OF HOUSE AND HOME.

AND SO YOU HAVE THESE RAPID POPULATION, BOOM, AND BUST CYCLES, UH, OCCURRING OUT HERE A MUCH DIFFERENT THAN WHAT YOU HAVE TRADITIONALLY OBSERVED, UM, IN, IN THE NORTH NORTHERN LAKES, NORTHERN ECOSYSTEMS. UM, SO I THINK THIS IS JUST A REALLY INTERESTING THING.

UM, YOU KNOW, A COUPLE OF THINGS TO NOTE ZEBRA MUSCLES, GET INTO OUR WATER BODIES, THANKS TO, UH, OR NO, THANKS TO, UH, IRRESPONSIBLE BOATERS.

UM, AT THE END OF THE DAY THAT'S, IT'S PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

AND WHEN WE SET UP OUR MONITORING SITES, UH, WE ESTABLISHED LOCATIONS CLOSE TO, UH, BOAT DOCKS, UH, OR, UH, TWO BOAT RAMPS, SORRY, BOAT RAMPS, UM, CAUSE WE WANT, WE FIGURED THAT THOSE WERE GOING TO BE THE POINTS OF INTRODUCTION AND EARLY IN THE KIND OF INVASIVE CYCLE, UH, THAT IS WHERE WE SAW THE HIGHEST DENSITIES EARLIEST.

AND THEN OVER TIME, UH, THE, THE AMOUNT OF BIOMASS KIND OF RADIATES OUT FROM THAT AS THEY GET ESTABLISHED AND INTRODUCE THE NEW PARTS OF THE RESERVOIRS.

UM, SO JUST A LOT OF INTERESTING DYNAMICS IN THE POPULATIONS GOING ON OUT THERE EX AND OUT TO THE ONE THAT'S KEPT ME BUSY WITH THE MEDIA OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, UH, THE HARMFUL ALGAL PROLIFERATIONS, UH, THESE PICTURES REPRESENT, UM, JUST FROM LAST YEAR, UH, THAT DIFFERENT, UH, KIND OF GROWTH FORUMS, OTHER SIGN OF BACTERIA OUT THERE.

UH, BUT AGAIN, IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THESE ARE ALL COHESIVE MAPS.

YOU DON'T HAVE THE ENTIRE WATER COLUMN BEING STAINED, UM, UH, A BRIGHT GREEN, IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE SPILLED PAINT OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

LIKE YOU WOULD SEE IN LAKE ERIE OR LAKE OKEECHOBEE THAT AFFECTS THE DRINKING WATER SUPPLY.

THESE ARE, UH, VERY KIND OF SITE-SPECIFIC GROWS.

UM, THEY CAN, YOU KNOW, FORM A PRETTY LARGE AMOUNT OF BIOMASS, UM, BUT YOU KNOW, TO BE EFFECTED BY THE TOXINS, YOU HAVE TO CONSUME THAT ALGA MATERIAL.

UM, OBVIOUSLY FOR A PERSON, VERY, VERY UNLIKELY FOR A PET, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE SPLASHING AROUND IN THE WATER, THEY GET A SLIMY GOO IN THERE FOR, AND JUST IN THE PROCESS OF GROOMING THEMSELVES, YOU KNOW, THEY CAN INADVERTENTLY, UH, CONSUME THAT MATERIAL.

UH, BUT THIS KIND OF JUST GIVES YOU AN IDEA OF, YOU KNOW, A PEER OUT AT THE WATER, UH, AT A WATER BODY.

YOU SEE SOME OF THESE WEIRD GREEN BLUE-GREEN GROWTH FORUMS DEFINITELY AVOID THOSE AREAS.

NEXT? OH, THERE WE GO.

UH, SO THIS IS, UH, JUST A QUICK SUMMARY.

UH, SO WE MONITORED THREE SITES, UH, ON LAKE AUSTIN, THREE SITES IN LADY, BIRD LAKE, UH, YOU KNOW, KIND OF SPANNING EACH OF THE RESERVOIRS.

THESE ARE POPULAR PARKS, UH, OFF-LEASH DOG PARKS, RECREATIONAL AREAS.

SO WE THOUGHT THAT THESE, UM, WOULD BE EFFECTIVE MONITORING SITES, UH, BECAUSE OF THEIR POPULARITY, BUT ALSO ALL SIX OF THESE SITES ARE NEAR TO LONG-TERM MONITORING SITES.

SO WE CAN LOOK AT PALLET OF WATER QUALITY DYNAMICS AT THESE SITES HAS CHANGED, UH, PREVIOUS TO 2019 WHEN WE HAD OUR FIRST HITS OF THE SIGN OF TOXINS.

SO WE CAN START TO BUILD A PICTURE OF A WHAT'S CHANGED IN THE ECOSYSTEM.

UM, AS A SUMMARY, UH, LAST YEAR, YOU KNOW, SAMPLING STARTED THE FIRST WEEK OF JUNE, WENT INTO NOVEMBER.

AND, UM, THESE ARE THE NUMBER OF POSITIVE SAMPLES THAT WE HAD, UM, AT THE DIFFERENT SITES, UH, RED, BUT I'LL, UM, HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE HITS, UM, THAT FOLLOWED THE TREND FROM 20 20TH.

WELL, NEXT, UH, THERE'S JUST KIND OF A DATA SUMMARY, SO YOU CAN SEE THE AVERAGE AMOUNT OF TOXIN THAT WAS PRESENT, UM, OUT THERE.

UH, THE WALSH ONE IS KIND OF INTERESTING.

UM, I DIDN'T COLLECT VERY MUCH MATERIAL, UH, FROM THAT SITE, UH, BUT WHEN THERE WAS CYANOBACTERIA PRESENT, UH, IT WAS FAIRLY HOT, UH, FAIRLY

[00:25:01]

HIGH CONTENTS.

UH, IN GENERAL, THE CONTENTS WERE LOWER IN 2021 THAN WHAT WE OBSERVED IN 2020.

UM, AGAIN, THESE ARE VERY COMPLEX SYSTEMS. THERE'S A LOT THAT AFFECTS, UH, TOXIN PRODUCTION, UH, 2021, IF YOU MAY REMEMBER, UH, WAS A MUCH WETTER YEAR KIND OF INTO JUNE, A MUCH COOLER TEMPERATURES.

I THINK WE ONLY HAD SIX TOTAL DAYS ALL SUMMER, UH, OVER A HUNDRED DEGREES, WHICH WE'VE OBVIOUSLY ALREADY SHATTERED.

UM, AND IT WAS INTERESTING THAT AT THE, UH, PESTLE BEACH, THE FESTIVAL BOAT RAMP, UH, WE HAD THE, UH, EMERGENCE OF A DIFFERENT SIGN OF TOXIN, UM, BESIDES THE DIHYDRO ANTITOXIN THAT WE'VE TYPICALLY OBSERVED OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS AS AGAIN, THESE, THESE PSYCH CONDITIONS, YOU KNOW, REALLY KIND OF, UH, MAKING THINGS COMPLICATED AND, UM, VARIABLE OUT THERE NEXT.

SO TO THAT END, UM, BETWEEN 2020 AND 2021, UH, THERE WAS, UH, UM, KIND OF CLAMORING, UH, THAT, YOU KNOW, WHILE MONITORING, UH, IS EFFECTIVE AND KIND OF GETTING AN IDEA OF WHAT'S GOING ON OUT THERE IS GREAT.

IT WOULD BE REALLY NICE IF WATERSHED PROTECTION COULD BE A LITTLE PROACTIVE AND TRY TO IMPLEMENT SOME ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO TRY TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF CYANOBACTERIA OUT THERE, OR THE AMOUNT OF TOXINS OUT THERE.

UH, SO REVIEWING THE LITERATURE, UH, WE CAME UP WITH, UH, WHAT WE HOPED TO BE AN EFFECTIVE NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT PILOT PROJECT.

UM, AGAIN, THERE'S A LOT OF VARIABLES THAT GO TOWARDS STIMULATING A HARMFUL OUTLOOK PROLIFERATION, BUT ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT NEXT IS, UH, THE LIMITING NUTRIENT OF THESE RESERVOIRS.

AND THAT'S PHOSPHOROUS.

WE'LL GET THERE.

THERE WE GO.

UM, YOU KNOW, ACROSS ECOSYSTEMS AROUND THE WORLD, UM, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE KIND OF, OH, ENRICHMENT OF NITROGEN AND PHOSPHOROUS, UM, YOU KNOW, REALLY ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THESE HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS AND PROLIFERATIONS, UH, BUT THE PHOSPHORUS IS, IS THE ONE THAT'S GENERALLY THE MOST LIMITING NUTRIENT IN OUR WATER BODIES.

IT ALSO HAPPENS TO BE, UH, ONE OF THE EASIER NUTRIENTS TO MANAGE WITHIN AN ECOSYSTEM.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE CAN'T DO MUCH ABOUT WATER TEMPERATURES FLOWS AND NITROGEN IS DIFFICULT BECAUSE THERE'S SO MANY, UH, BIOGEOCHEMICAL PROCESSES THAT ALTERED NITROGEN AND DYNAMICS.

SO WE WANTED TO LOOK AT IF WE STARTED ALTERING SEDIMENT, PHOSPHOROUS DYNAMICS, WOULD THIS HAVE ANY IMPACT, UM, SUBSEQUENTLY ON THE CYANOBACTERIA NEXT? UH, AND THE REASON WE DID THIS WHEN WE LOOKED AT, UM, THE SEDIMENT PHOSPHOROUS POOLS, LADYBIRD LAKE IS A VERY NUTRIENT RICH ECOSYSTEM.

UH, IT GETS A LOT OF SEDIMENT INPUTS, UH, FROM THE HIGHLAND LAKES AND FROM URBAN INPUTS.

UM, AND SO YOU HAVE THIS REALLY RICH SORES, UM, AND THAT, YOU KNOW, ASIDE FROM FRESH NUTRIENTS THAT ARE COMING IN, IN THE WATER COLUMN THROUGH STREAM FLOWS AND DAM DISCHARGES, YOU HAVE, WHAT'S KNOWN AS INTERNAL EUTROPHICATION, UH, ESSENTIALLY, UH, THE, A POSITIVE FEEDBACK LOOP, THE REEF FEEDING AND REDEPOSITION OF NUTRIENTS WITHIN A WATER BODY.

SO WE WANTED TO TRY TO MANAGE THAT NEXT.

UH, SO THE PRODUCT THAT WE, UH, HAVE BEEN UTILIZING TOWARDS THAT END, UM, TODAY FINISHED UP, UH, DAY THREE OF APPLICATION AND LADY BIRD LAKE OF FOX LOCK.

AND THIS IS, UH, THE COMMERCIAL NAME FOR A PHOSPHOROUS LOCKING COMPOUND.

UH, ESSENTIALLY WHAT THIS IS, IS BENTONITE, UH, WHICH IS JUST A CLAY COMPOUND, THE MATERIAL IT'S A GRANULAR LOOKS LIKE KITTY LITTER, UH, BUT IT'S BEEN CHEMICALLY MODIFIED WITH LANTHANUM, UH, LANTHANUM, UH, IS A KNOWN CHEMICAL THAT VERY EFFECTIVELY BINDS PHOSPHATE.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT DO.

SO YOU APPLY THIS MATERIAL.

UM, IT HAS, UH, A SLURRY, IT SETTLES OUT.

YOU CAN SEE THE CARTOON THERE IS SETTLED THROUGH THE WATER COLUMN, BINDING UP WHATEVER FREE PHOSPHATE IS IN THE WATER GENERALLY DOES.

NOT VERY MUCH, UH, WHICH IS FINE.

THE, WHAT WE'RE REALLY GOING AFTER THOUGH, IS THOSE SEDIMENTS EX UM, WE WANT TO, UH, AS ESSENTIALLY, UH, OUT-COMPETE, UH, AGAINST THE CYANOBACTERIA FOR THAT PHOSPHATE.

SO IN THESE NUTRIENT RICH SEDIMENTS WHERE THERE'S NO OXYGEN, PHOSPHATE IS BEING RELEASED, UM, ROM IT'S OTHER CHEMICAL BOMB, UH, BOUNDS AND BINDS, AND THE SIGN OF BACTERIA CAN UTILIZE THAT.

BUT IF

[00:30:01]

THE LANTHANUM GETS TO IT FIRST FINDS OUT THAT PHOSPHATE, IT'S NO LONGER BIOLOGICALLY AVAILABLE AND THEN IT CAN BE BURIED AND YOU NO LONGER HAVE THAT INTERNAL PHOSPHORUS SOURCE FUELING THE CYANOBACTERIA NEXT.

UH, SO AS A SUMMARY, UM, YEAR ONE AND YEAR TWO, WE'LL, WE'LL BE APPLYING A TOTAL OF 120,000 POUNDS OF THIS, UH, ALL OF THAT LAST YEAR WAS TARGETED AROUND, RIGHT.

BUT I'LL, UH, THIS YEAR, UH, WE'RE DOING A TOTAL OF ABOUT 40,000 POUNDS AROUND, RIGHT.

BUT I'LL, UM, AND THE REST WILL BE APPLIED, UH, DOWN AT THE FESTIVAL BEACH, UH, ALONG THE NORTH SHORE LADY BIRD LAKE BELOW.

NEXT.

UM, IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANY OF THE FOOTAGE OR MATERIAL, UH, THIS IS WHAT THE APPLICATION LOOKS LIKE AGAIN, UM, ON A BARGE, YOU HAVE A LARGE HOPPER WHERE YOU'RE MIXING LAKE WATER, UH, WITH THE DRY MATERIAL, IT GETS, UH, SPRAYED FROM THE BACK OF THE BOAT, UH, LEAVES THIS KIND OF CLOUD BEHIND THE BOAT, UM, THAT SETTLES OUT, UH, TO THE BOTTOM SEDIMENTS WITHIN HALF A DAY X, UH, IN TERMS OF, UH, EFFICACY.

UH, WE SAW, UH, SOME REALLY NICE RESULTS AFTER YEAR ONE.

UM, WE WENT BACK, UH, ACTUALLY THE SPRING CAUSE, UH, IT HAD BEEN, YOU KNOW, FIXED MONTH, SEVEN MONTHS, UH, SINCE THE LAST APPLICATION WE WANTED TO SEE, WELL, YOU KNOW, IS THERE A LOT OF NEW FOSTERS COMING INTO THE SYSTEM BEING DEPOSITED, UH, OR NOT, YOU KNOW, W WHAT ARE THE DYNAMICS OF THE SYSTEM LOOK LIKE? SO ESSENTIALLY IF YOU LOOK AT THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF PHOSPHORUS, UH, THAT'S IN THE SEDIMENTS, YOU HAVE THIS BIOAVAILABLE AND IS UNAVAILABLE, UH, FRACTIONS, AND WE NEARLY DECLINED BY HALF THE AMOUNT OF BIOAVAILABLE PHOSPHORUS.

SO THAT'S, YOU KNOW, WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR, REDUCING THAT POOL NEXT, AND ONE MORE NEXT, UM, AND, YOU KNOW, THERE'S A DYNAMICS, YOU KNOW, IF YOU'VE BEEN OUT TO REDBUD OR IF YOU'VE SEEN IT FROM THE MAP, THE EAST SIDE OF THE ISLAND IS IN THE MAIN FLOW FLOW PATH.

UH, SO IT'S A LOT ROCKIER, THOSE THINNER SOILS, A LOT LESS ORGANIC MATTER THERE, THE WEST SIDE OF THE ISLAND, WHERE WE HAVE A MUCH LOWER FLOWS, SEDIMENT TENDS TO DEPOSIT THERE MUCH MORE READILY, MUCH MORE ORGANIC MATTER PRESENT ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE ISLAND.

UM, AND SO CORRESPONDINGLY, WE SAW A LARGER RESPONSE ON THE WEST SIDE, UH, WHICH IS ALL WHAT WE WOULD EXPECT.

SO THERE WAS, WAS, UH, GOOD RESULTS NEXT.

UH, SO OF COURSE, UH, YOU KNOW, THAT MANY PEOPLE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT THE BEHIND THE SCENES, YOU KNOW, WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE SEDIMENTS.

THEY WANT TO KNOW, YOU KNOW, WAS THERE ACTUALLY AN EFFECT ON THE CYANOBACTERIA AND TOXICITY? SO, UH, THESE WERE ALL THIS, UH, MONITORING, UH, SAMPLE EVENTS LAST YEAR AT RED, BUT I'LL, UH, YOU CAN SEE, UH, FROM EARLY JUNE INTO MID JUNE, UH, THE AMOUNT OF ANTITOXIN A WAS REALLY STARTING TO GET RAMPED UP AND THEN IT CRASHED AND IT STAYED LOW THE REST OF THE SUMMER.

NEXT, IF WE JUXTAPOSE ON THAT OUR FOSS LOCK APPLICATION DATES, WE HAVE OUR THREE APPLICATIONS.

UH, THAT'S KIND OF A NICE LITTLE CORRESPONDENCE THERE, UM, THAT, WITH THAT PEAK, THAT WAS RIGHT WHEN WE WERE DOING OUR FIRST APPLICATION AND IT WAS A CRASH AFTER THAT.

UM, SO THAT'S A POSITIVE, UM, VISUALLY, UH, WE KIND OF HAD AN AREA THAT WE WENT TO AND PHOTOGRAPH THE SIGN OF BACTERIA NEXT.

UH, THIS IS WHAT, UH, THE BACKSIDE OF RED, BUT I'LL LOOK LIKE ON THAT FIRST DAY OF APPLICATION, AGAIN, A LARGE BIOMASS OF THESE VERY TYPICAL SPIRES CORRESPONDS WITH A LOT OF ANTITOXIN NECKS, BUT GOING BACK TO THAT SITE, UH, THE REST OF THE SUMMER AFTER OUR TREATMENTS, UH, WE SAW A SIGNIFICANT DIE-OFF OF THAT CYANOBACTERIA.

WE DID NOT SEE, UH, REALLY ANY MORE OF THE SPIRES OR THESE BENTHIC MAPS IN THAT SAME AREA.

UM, AND INTERESTINGLY AND ANECDOTALLY AROUND THE ISLAND, UH, THERE WAS, UH, A SURGE IN THE AMOUNT OF DESIRED, UH, AQUATIC PLANTS, UM, OTHER ALGAE, UH, PRESENT.

SO IT KIND OF SEEMED LIKE AS WE WERE MANIPULATING THOSE SEDIMENT PHOSPHOROUS FRACTIONS, UH, THAT THE ECOLOGY OF THE SYSTEM WAS RESPONDING IN WHAT WE BELIEVE TO BE A POSITIVE WAY.

AND AGAIN, THIS IS GREAT.

IT'S ONE YEAR OF OBSERVATION.

UM, IT DOESN'T NECESSARILY, IT COULD BE BECAUSE AGAIN, IT WAS COOL TO LAST YEAR, RAINFALL DYNAMICS WERE DIFFERENT, BUT THIS WAS A POSITIVE THING TO SEE NEXT.

[00:35:01]

UH, AND EVEN THOUGH THIS ISN'T LAKE RELATED, PER SE, THIS WAS, UH, SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED THAT I INCLUDE SCULPTURE FALLS, UH, LAST YEAR, UH, AN INDIVIDUAL CALLED IN THE 3 1 1, UM, THAT THEY FELL ILL AFTER A SWIMMING IN THE POOL AT SCULPTURE FALLS ON BARTON CREEK, UH, GOING OUT THERE, WE SAW THAT THERE WAS ESSENTIALLY NO FLOW THROUGH BARTON CREEK AND THE POOL WAS EXTREMELY STAGNANT.

UM, AND THERE WAS, YOU SEE IN THE PICTURE, THE PRESENCE OF CYANOBACTERIA, UH, WE MEASURED, UH, THE PRESENCE OF A SIGN, A TOXIN IN THE WATER THERE'S LINDA'S OPTION.

UH, BUT TALKING WITH THE AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, THE SYMPTOMS AT THE INDIVIDUAL DISPLAYED DID NOT FIT WITH THIS LINDA'S PER MOPS.

AND, UM, THOSE ARE THE TALKS AND THAT'S, YOU'D HAVE TO CONSUME A WHOLE LOT OF IT, OR WHAT GENERALLY HAPPENS IF IT'S IN YOUR DRINKING WATER SUPPLY, YOU CONSUME IT OVER A FEW DECADES, THEN YOU DEVELOP, UM, LIVER OR KIDNEY CANCER.

SO IT WAS KIND OF A COINCIDENCE THAT THIS REPORT CAME IN, THAT WE SAW THESE THINGS AND IT WAS LIKE, OH, WE HAVE THESE OTHER TOXINS POTENTIALLY PRESENT, UH, NEXT, UM, HOWEVER, UH, YOU KNOW, AT THE SITE, WE MONITORED IT FOR A FEW WEEKS.

AS SOON AS WE HAD FLOW BACK, UM, EVERYTHING WASHED OUT, WE DIDN'T HAVE ANY MORE HITS IN THE WATER COLUMN.

UH, SO THIS REALLY WAS A, YOU KNOW, AN ISOLATED EVENT, BUT GAVE US SOME INSIGHT THAT OUR CREEKS COULD BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO SIGN OF BACTERIA BLOOMS, UM, UNDER THE RIGHT LOW FLOW CONDITIONS, AND, UH, HAS LED US TO WITH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH DEVELOP A RESPONSE PLAN, AND WE'RE WORKING ON A MONITORING PLAN FOR OUR CREEKS.

UM, AND AGAIN, JUST A LITTLE BIT OF BACKGROUND INFORMATION THERE ABOUT CYLINDERS PER MOPS, AND AGAIN, A DIFFERENT TOXIN THAN THE ANTITOXIN THE NEUROTOXIN WE HAVE IN LADY BIRD LAKE.

AND LAST WITH THAT, I WILL TAKE QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU.

THERE ANY, UH, UM, LISTENERS WITH ANY QUESTIONS RIGHT NOW, LET'S START WITH THE REMOTE COMMISSIONERS, COMMISSIONER THOMPSON.

I WAS WONDERING WHAT HAPPENS WITH ALL THIS MUCK AT THE BOTTOM.

UM, LIKE IF YOU STEP IN IT, IS IT GOING TO HURT YOU? AND I WAS, YOU SAID THAT SOME OF THE AQUATIC LIFE CAME BACK, BUT I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT, UM, THAT WOULD CAUSE A SORT OF A SLIME ON THE BOTTOM AND IT MIGHT WELL INHIBIT THAT.

AM I WRONG IN THINKING THAT, UH, TO THE LADDER? YES, WE'LL KEEP THAT.

THAT'S AN EASY ANSWER, UH, TO THE FORMER.

WHOA, COULD YOU REPEAT THAT QUESTION? UM, I WONDERED WHAT HAPPENED IF YOU STEPPED IN THIS, UM, AFTER IT HAD BEEN ABSORBED INTO THE BOTTOM OF THE, ON THE ROCKS.

OH, YOU MEAN THE, THE, THE LOCK OR THE ALGAE? UM, THE ABSORBENT, THE BED TONIGHT, THE BENTONITE, UH, NOTHING.

I MEAN, IT'S, YOU KNOW, THERE'S CLAYS THAT ARE NATURALLY IN OUR SOILS AND OUR SEDIMENTS.

UM, IT'S PRETTY MUCH IMPERCEPTIBLE, EVEN THOUGH IT'S A LOT THAT WAS APPLIED OUT THERE.

IF YOU TOOK A SEDIMENT CORE, YOU LOOKED AT THE TOP COUPLE OF CENTIMETERS, YOU WOULDN'T EVEN KNOW IT'S THERE.

SO IS THIS, I KNOW THAT YOU MENTIONED THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF WATER, UM, LAST YEAR, A LOT OF FLOWS.

SO, UM, I MEAN, ARE WE HOPING FOR THE SAME RESULTS, IF THERE'S LESS FUN, UH, YOU KNOW, THAT'S, THAT REMAINS TO BE SEEN, UM, THE, UH, THIS MATERIAL THEY'RE GENERALLY USED IN, UH, IN PONDS AND IN WATER BODIES THAT HAVE LONGER RESIDENCE TIMES.

UM, SO, YOU KNOW, THESE ARE DYNAMIC SYSTEMS, LOT OF FLOW VARIABILITY, UM, THROUGH THE REP THAT THROUGH LADY BIRD LAKE.

AND SO THIS IS, YOU KNOW, KIND OF, UH, YOU KNOW, WHAT, WHAT WILL HAPPEN.

AND, UM, YOU KNOW, WE WERE VERY PLEASED TO SEE, CAUSE WE KIND OF EXPECTED OVER THE COURSE OF THE FALL, WINTER AND SPRING WITH, UM, NORMAL RAINS AND SEDIMENT MOVEMENT AND DEPOSITION LADY BIRD LAKE THAT WE MIGHT LOSE A LOT OF THAT, UM, YOU KNOW, FOSTER BINDING THAT WE SAW DUE TO DEPOSITION OF NEW PHOSPHORUS AND NEW SEDIMENTS.

AND WE DIDN'T SEE THAT.

SO THAT WAS ENCOURAGING, BUT YOU NEVER KNOW YOU GET ANOTHER EVENT LIKE IN 2018, UM, WHERE, YOU KNOW, THE HIGHLAND LAKES TURN INTO CHOCOLATE MILK AND YOU COULD COMPLETELY RESET THE SYSTEM IN THAT MATTER.

OKAY.

AND ONE LAST QUESTION, I'M WONDERING IF, UM, THE USE OF LADYBIRD, LIKE, UM, BY PEOPLE PADDLEBOARDING AND SO FORTH, UM, YOU MENTIONED THE ZEBRA MUSSELS EFFECT AND SO FORTH BECAUSE

[00:40:01]

THAT LIGHT IS USED IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

UM, DO YOU THINK THAT THAT HAS AN EFFECT TNF STOP, YOU KNOW, UM, CUMULATIVELY, THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING THERE? UM, I, IT WOULD BE TOUGH TO DISCERN, UH, FOR THE MOST PART, UH, YOU KNOW, AGAIN WAS WATER RESIDENT TIMES ARE REALLY LOW IN THE RESERVOIR.

UM, SO PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE DOING, I THINK WOULD BE MUCH MORE TRANSITORY AND SHORT-LIVED COMPARED TO ZEBRA MUSSELS, WHICH ARE DEPOSITING ORGANIC MATTER PSEUDO FECES ON THE SURFACE SEDIMENTS REALLY KIND OF CHANGING THOSE SEDIMENT DYNAMICS EVERY DAY, CONSTANTLY ACROSS THE WATER BODY.

SO IT SEEMS OKAY.

IT LOOKS LIKE A CHAIR ROMBERG.

THANKS.

THANKS, BARRY.

YOU'RE DOING A GREAT JOB.

YOU GOT AGAIN TODAY.

UM, THANK YOU.

UM, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE PRESENTATION.

I JUST HAD A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS ABOUT KIND OF PUBLIC OUTREACH.

I MEAN, IT SOUNDS LIKE THIS IS A LOT OF GOOD INFORMATION, UM, FROM KIND OF SOME OF THE CONCERNS THAT I WAS HEARING IN THE PUBLIC ABOUT, YOU KNOW, PETS IN THE LAKE AND, AND THOSE THINGS, HOW ARE HER? I KNOW THIS IS KIND OF MAYBE ADVANCED TO A, TO BOIL DOWN TO, UH, YOU KNOW, UH, A BOARD OR, UH, YOU KNOW, PUBLIC INFORMATION FLYER, BUT HOW, HOW ARE YOU COMMUNICATING THIS TO THE PUBLIC? UM, KIND OF THE PROCESS THAT YOU'RE GOING THROUGH WITH TRYING TO BIND, BIND UP THE ALGAE AND, YOU KNOW, I GUESS REMOVE SOME OF THE TOXICITY FROM THE WATER.

UM, AND, AND HOW HAS THAT GOING? YEAH.

UM, YOU KNOW, THAT I'LL, I'LL PUT THEM, UH, I'LL PUT MY PIO, EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE NOT HERE.

UM, THEY'VE BEEN DOING A GREAT JOB OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS, UH, WITH THE EDUCATION AND MATERIALS, SIGNAGE GOING OUT, UM, OUR, UM, SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE, INTERACTION WITH THE MEDIA ITSELF, UH, TO GET THE MESSAGE BEING ABOUT THE RELATIVE RISK AND SAFETY OUT THERE WHAT'S GOING ON AND HOW WE'RE TRYING TO ADDRESS THESE THINGS.

UM, YOU KNOW, SO, YOU KNOW, GETTING A BRIEFING FROM THAT AND WOULD PROBABLY BE REALLY INFORMATIVE CAUSE IT'S, IT'S BEEN SPECTACULAR, UH, YOU KNOW, SPECIFICALLY TO YOUR POINT, UM, IT'S, IT HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE I'VE, UH, I'VE HAD QUITE A FEW OF THE MEDIA RESPOND BACK TO LIKE, CAN YOU, YOU KNOW, MAKE IT A LITTLE LESS TECHNICALLY, UM, BUT YOU KNOW, WHEN I'M DOING IT ON AIR IT'S, IT'S, IT'S A LITTLE TOUGHER.

UM, WHEN WE ARE DISTILLING THINGS FOR REPUBLIC DISTRIBUTION, LIKE WE HAD, UM, BEFORE WE DID OUR TREATMENTS THIS YEAR AND LAST YEAR, UH, YOU KNOW, WE SENT NOTIFICATIONS OUT TO THE LADY BIRD LAKE NAVY, WHICH WERE ALL THE USER GROUPS.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE, AGAIN WITH, WITH THE PRESS RELEASES AND MY PIO HAS BEEN REALLY GOOD AT MASSAGING, UM, MY JARGON INTO SOMETHING THAT'S VERY, UH, UH, YOU KNOW, KIND OF ATTAINABLE TO THE PUBLIC.

AND IT'S, IT'S BEEN REALLY SATISFYING GOING OUT, BEING OUT AT RED, BUT I'LL, OR OTHER PARTS OF THE, UH, LADY BIRD LAKE, TALKING TO PEOPLE THAT ARE VERY INFORMED ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON, UH, VERY EXCITED TO SEE THE RESULT AND TO SEE KIND OF THEIR, THEIR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK, UM, IN THIS ACTIVE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY.

PERFECT.

THANKS.

YEAH.

I MEAN, UM, I APPRECIATE THE RESPONSE.

I DON'T KNOW IF WE NEED A PRESENTATION, BUT IF THERE ARE SOME COMMON TOILET DOWN FLYERS OR, OR, OR SIMILAR, YOU KNOW, THAT WE COULD KIND OF DISTRIBUTE KIND OF WITHIN OUR NETWORK OF PEOPLE, THAT WOULD BE GREAT.

UM, UM, IN, IN PARTICULAR, UM, WE'RE KIND OF IN ADDITION, UH, I WAS PROBABLY THE ONE ASKING ABOUT THE BARTON CREEK GREENBELT, UM, STUFF.

SO I APPRECIATE YOU ADDING THAT IN THERE, BUT IT SOUNDED LIKE THAT WAS MORE A FUNCTION OF JUST DON'T SWIM IN STAGNANT WATER, UM, THAT ANYTHING ELSE IS DONE IS THAT ABOUT RIGHT? YEAH.

YEP.

AND THAT'S BEEN OUR MESSAGING, UH, SINCE 2019 IS KIND OF BE AWARE OF WHAT FLOW CONDITIONS ARE LIKE IF YOU VISIT ANY QUARTER BODY, YOU KNOW, YOU GO THROUGH THESE BACK WATER HAS BEEN, YOU KNOW, THE SIGN OF TOXINS, THERE'S KIND OF A NEW AND, YOU KNOW, UNFORTUNATE, UH, THING TO LOOK OUT FOR, BUT, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE BACTERIA ECO LIE, THERE'S SWIMMERS ITCH, ALL THESE THINGS, ALL THESE THINGS THAT ARE OUT THERE THAT NEED TO BE AWARE OF WHEN VISITING A NATURAL WATER BODY, UM, YOU KNOW, WITH THE RIGHT PRECAUTIONS, GENERALLY NOT AN ISSUE.

UM, BUT YOU KNOW, JUST, JUST PAYING ATTENTION TO THAT.

YEAH.

PERFECT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PRESENTATION.

THAT'S ALL I GOT.

THANKS.

THANK YOU.

AND I WILL COORDINATE WITH, UH, WITH KATIE AND MY PIO, UM, TO, YOU KNOW, ABOUT SOME OF THE MESSAGING, SOME OF THE FLYERS, UM, OBVIOUSLY I WOULD RECOMMEND, UH, VISITING, UH, THE WEBSITE,

[00:45:01]

AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV BACKSLASH ALGAE.

UM, THAT'S WHERE THEY PUT REGULAR UPDATES FORWARD FACING.

UM, AND WE HAVE OUR DASHBOARD IS BACKED UP AND BEING UPDATED, UH, YOU KNOW, AS DATA'S COMING IN, UM, AND WE'RE WORKING ON, UH, YOU KNOW, KIND OF AESTHETICALLY, YOU KNOW, MAYBE, UH, SOMETHING THAT MIGHT BE A LITTLE MORE PUBLIC FRIENDLY IS A STORYBOARD.

SO, UM, STAY TUNED FOR THAT.

I BE ABLE TO SEE THE REMOTE IIS.

I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE THERE WERE MORE, THERE WEREN'T ANY MISS CONVERSATIONS.

YEAH.

I BELIEVE, UH, BARRETT HAD A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS.

UM, THANK YOU FOR THE PRESENTATION.

AND, UM, MY QUESTION, ACTUALLY, YOU GUYS SORTA TALKING ABOUT IT AT THE END, BUT I WAS WONDERING WHAT THE MAIN FORM OF COMMUNICATION TO THE PUBLIC, UM, IS.

AND IT SEEMS LIKE IS IT THE WEBSITE THAT AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV ACCESS ALGAE? UM, AND I, AND I WAS ALSO, I GUESS, WONDERING IF THERE WERE EVER ANY PHYSICAL SIGNS THAT WERE PUT UP OR IS IT PRIMARILY, UM, BASED ON, UM, CHECKING THE WEBSITE IN DASHBOARD? YEAH, A GREAT QUESTIONS.

UH, WE DO HAVE SOME PERMANENT SIGNAGE, UH, THAT IS OUT, UM, THAT THAT'S BEEN OUT AT A FEW OF THE SITES ALONG LADY, BIRD LAKE, UH, AGAIN, OVER THE COURSE OF THE WINTER, YOU KNOW, AS WE'VE, UH, YOU KNOW, KIND OF SEE HOW ALL THESE SITUATIONS ARE EVOLVING, UM, IN COLLABORATION WITH, UH, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH AND WITH, UH, THE PARKS DEPARTMENT, UH, WE'RE GOING TO BE PUTTING MORE EDUCATIONAL SIGNAGE OUT AT A FEW DOZEN MORE SITES AROUND THE CITY.

UM, YOU KNOW, THE TRAIL HEADS, POPULAR PARKS, YOU KNOW, AREAS THAT WOULD BE, YOU KNOW, UM, FREQUENTLY USED BY, UH, HIKERS WALKERS WITH THEIR PETS.

UM, THERE IS GOING TO BE, UH, QR CODES, UH, THAT CAN GET YOU TO PLACES THERE'S, UM, YOU KNOW, INFORMATION ABOUT, YOU KNOW, CALLING 3, 1, 1 WHERE HE CAN GET MORE, UH, INFORMATION US IN PUBLIC HEALTH.

UM, I BELIEVE THEY'VE DEVELOPED A QUESTIONNAIRE, UM, YOU KNOW, UH, IN RESPONSE IF, IF PEOPLE ARE EXPERIENCING SYMPTOMS TO TRY TO HELP US, UM, DIAGNOSE WHAT'S GOING ON OUT THERE.

UM, SO THOSE ARE THINGS THAT ARE GOING TO BE OUT IN THE WORLD, UH, BUT PRIMARILY SOCIAL MEDIA, YOU KNOW, AS THERE'S A NEW DEVELOPMENT, UH, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, UH, WE'LL PUT POSTS OUT TO THOSE.

UM, AND AGAIN IN THE REGULAR MEDIA HAS BEEN, UH, A REALLY GOOD, UH, KIND OF LIASING WITH US, UM, GETTING INFORMATION OUT, UH, VERY EFFECTIVELY AND, YOU KNOW, VERY KIND OF CLEARLY COMMUNICATING SOME COMPLEX STUFF.

AWESOME.

THAT'S THAT'S GREAT.

THANK YOU.

KEEP IT OUT.

UH, YEAH, SO I HAD A QUESTION, UM, YOU KNOW, I THINK, UH, OBVIOUSLY, YOU KNOW, WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF THERE NOT BEING MUCH RAINFALL, UH, THIS YEAR, YOU KNOW, IN RECORD RECORD HEAT WAVE, UH, THE POSSIBILITY ALSO LIKE, YOU KNOW, UH, A MEGA DROUGHT HAPPENING WITHIN THE NEXT FEW YEARS, UM, WHAT DO YOU SEE IN CASE THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN, RIGHT? OR IN CASE THAT DOES HAPPEN, THAT MEANS THAT, YOU KNOW, FLOWS ARE GOING TO GO DOWN, RIGHT.

TOXINS WILL PROBABLY GO UP.

UM, YOU KNOW, DO YOU THINK THAT THERE'S ANY, AND YOU KNOW, THE ZEBRA MUSSELS, RIGHT.

AND THE, THE NEUROTOXIN, IT SEEMS TO BE LIKE A RELATIVELY RECENT PHENOMENON AND WITH POPULATION GROWTH, YOU'VE GOT MORE HUMANS AND LET'S BE HONEST, MORE CANINES, RIGHT.

THEY'RE GOING TO BE DEPOSITING A WASTE IN THE, IN THE, IN THE RIVERWAYS.

UH, DO YOU THINK THERE'S ANY LIKE, SORT OF UP AND COMING THREAT THAT, UH, THAT YOU ALL SEE OR THAT Y'ALL THINK MIGHT BE AN ISSUE? UM, YEAH.

A GOOD QUESTION.

YOU KNOW, WE'RE, YOU KNOW, THESE, UH, THESE BENTHIC PROLIFERATIONS ARE STILL RELATIVELY, UH, UNDER STUDIED.

UM, THERE, THERE'S JUST NOT A WHOLE LOT OF RESEARCH, ESPECIALLY IN THE UNITED STATES.

UM, SO, YOU KNOW, EVERYTHING WE, UH, ARE, ARE MEASURING FINDINGS SEEING IS, IS KIND OF NOVEL AND, UH, WE HAVE GREAT STATISTICIANS INTERNALLY, SO WE'RE TRYING TO BEST MODEL THESE THINGS.

I APOLOGIZE.

I DON'T KNOW WHY MY VIDEO'S NOT WORKING.

UM, I KNOW ALL OF YOU WANT TO SEE MY PRETTY FACE.

UM, SO, YOU KNOW, THAT'S OBVIOUSLY A CONCERN, UH, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE REASONS THAT THE CYANOBACTERIA RESEARCH, UH, US AND, UM, AUSTIN WATER, WE HAD ACTUALLY BEGUN, UH, SOME EFFORTS BACK IN 2015 BECAUSE, UH, OBVIOUSLY THE BIGGER THREAT, THE MORE COMMON THING THAT OCCURS IS IN THE DRINKING WATER WITH THE PLANK TONIC BLOOMS. AND DURING THAT LAST DROUGHT, UM,

[00:50:01]

WE WERE SEEING SIGN OF BACTERIA.

BIO-MASS REALLY SPIKING IN THE PLANKTON AND WE'RE, YOU KNOW, APPROACHING KIND OF THESE RISK LEVELS.

WE THOUGHT BASED ON JUST BIOMASS LOCALLY, WE'D NEVER MEASURED IN, YOU KNOW, ANY APPRECIABLE TOXINS IN THE WATER.

SO THAT'S ALWAYS A CONCERN.

UH, AUSTIN WATER HAS BEEN, UM, VERY PROACTIVE TO KIND OF STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE ON THAT.

UH, THEY HAVE, UH, EQUIPMENT FOR, UH, TESTING FOR THE TOXINS ON A REGULAR BASIS, UH, TRACKING THE CYANOBACTERIA, UH, THE SIDE OF BACTERIA, BIOMASS AND THE PLANKTON.

UH, BUT THAT'S, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY STILL THERE, UH, ONE OF THE BIG ONES THAT I'M REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT IS, UH, CLOGGED MUSCLES, UH, THE, UH, THE BIGGER, UH, COUSIN OF THE ZEBRA MUSCLE AND WHAT MAKES THEM A GREATER THREAT IS THEY'RE NOT SUBSTRATE LIMITED THE SAME WAY AS ZEBRA MUSSELS ARE A ZEBRA MUSSELS, THEY HAVE TO HAVE A HARD SUBSTRATE, AND THAT'S WHY THEIR POPULATIONS ARE GENERALLY LARGER.

AND LAKE AUSTIN, YOU HAVE A LOT MORE RIP RAP BOAT, DOCKS SHEET PILE BULK, AS ET CETERA, THAT'S OUT THERE EFFECTIVE SUBSTRATE FOR THEM, LADY, BIRD LAKE.

YOU PRETTY MUCH JUST HAVE A LOT OF MUCK AND THE QUAGGA MUSSELS, THEY'RE NOT BOTHERED BY THAT.

UH, THEY CAN KIND OF CREATE THESE LITTLE FLOATING RAFTS.

IT'S A WILD THING ON THE BOTTOM.

UM, THEY ARE NOT AS BOTHERED BY LOW OXYGEN CONCENTRATIONS, UM, OR BY THIS SUBSTRATE SOFT SUBSTRATE.

AND SO THEY CAN EFFECTIVELY COLONIZE THE ENTIRE WATER BODY, UH, WHERE ZEBRA, MUSSELS CAN'T AND THEY'RE FILTERING WATER THE SAME WAY.

UM, YOU KNOW, SO IN PLACES LIKE LAKE MICHIGAN RECEIVER MUSCLES MAY HAVE, YOU KNOW, UH, COVERED SOMETHING, YOU KNOW, 15%, UM, OF THAT LAKE AREA, QUAGGA MUSSELS COVER SOMETHING LIKE 90%.

UM, AND THEY'VE EFFECTIVELY MADE LAKE MICHIGAN, UH, A CLEANER WATER BODY THAN LAKE SUPERIOR.

THERE'S JUST, THERE'S NOTHING LEFT IN THE PLANKTON.

UH, SO THAT WOULD BE A DRAMATIC SHIFT IN THE ECOSYSTEM AND, AND, AND PROBABLY CATASTROPHIC.

AND GIVEN THAT QUAD MUSCLES WERE FOUND IN SOUTH TEXAS, IT WOULDN'T SURPRISE ME IF THEY'RE HERE.

UH, IT JUST TAKES THEIR POPULATION, UM, YOU KNOW, SEVEN TO 10 YEARS FROM WHAT I'VE SEEN IN THE LITERATURE BEFORE THEY REALLY GET ESTABLISHED, UM, ON LEGS, ZERO MUSCLES, WHICH CAN DO IT WITHIN A COUPLE OF YEARS.

SO THEY MIGHT BE HERE.

WE JUST HAVE, NO, WE JUST DON'T KNOW IT YET.

UM, UH, OTHER RISKS, UM, OBVIOUSLY, UH, YOU KNOW, LOOKING LARGER AT THE WATERSHED, UH, YOU MENTIONED, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE MOVING HERE, MORE DEVELOPMENT, MORE IMPERVIOUS, COVER, MORE LAWNS, UM, MORE SEPTIC SYSTEMS, UH, YOU KNOW, ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION, OTHERS LCRA FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT TO MAINTAIN.

UH, WE DON'T HAVE, UM, TREATED WASTEWATER DISCHARGE INTO THE HIGHLAND LAKES, UM, YOU KNOW, THAT COULD SUPERCHARGE, UH, BLOOMS OR CAUSE OTHER, UH, ECOSYSTEM SHIFTS.

SO, UM, YEAH, THERE'S QUITE A FEW THINGS ON THE HORIZON.

UH, YOU KNOW, WE JUST TAKE THEM AS THEY COME.

THESE ARE THESE RESERVOIRS, THEY'RE VERY YOUNG AQUATIC SYSTEMS. SO ANY PERTURBATION, WHETHER IT'S CHANGED IN HYDROLOGY IN TEMPERATURES OR AN INVASIVE SPECIES WILL CAUSE A VERY DRAMATIC SHIFTS CAUSE THEY JUST DON'T HAVE THAT.

BUILT-IN RESILIENCY.

YEAH, FOR SURE.

THAT WAS A GREAT ANSWER.

I APPRECIATE THE INSIGHT.

I JUST HAVE ONE MORE QUESTION.

UM, I GUESS, UH, YOU KNOW, IF, UM, I FORGET WHAT THE NAME OF THE, THE PHOSPHOROUS LOCKING MATERIAL WAS, BUT I ASSUME THAT THAT'S MOSTLY TO COMBAT, UH, YOU KNOW, LIKE TOXINS, YOU KNOW, THE HATS, UH, WHATNOT.

UM, WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE ABILITIES THAT WE HAVE TO LIKE, OH, NICE.

I BRED, YOU KNOW, WHAT SORT OF CAPABILITIES DO WE HAVE TO LIKE MITIGATE LIKE MUSCLE GROWTH, RIGHT? IF, UH, THIS OTHER SPECIES THAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT CAN POSSIBLY SURFACE, RIGHT.

YOU'VE GOT ZEBRA MUSSELS AS WELL.

I GUESS, YOU KNOW, IF YOU CUT DOWN ON THE ALLERGY, MAYBE YOU CUT DOWN ON THE MUSCLES, FOOD SOURCE OR SOMETHING, BUT, UH, I WAS CURIOUS.

YEAH.

UM, YEAH, A BIT TO UNPACK THERE SO THAT THE FOSS LUCK, AGAIN, WE'RE NOT A, THIS IS NOT AN ALGAECIDE, THIS IS NOT, UM, A TOXIN, UM, MITIGATE PER SE, WE'RE GOING AFTER, UH, THE DRIVER OF THAT PHENOMENON.

UM, SO, YOU KNOW, IT TAKES AN EXCESS OF NUTRIENTS, UH, FOR THE CYANOBACTERIA TO BECOME DOMINANT AND TO PRODUCE, YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE METABOLICALLY EXPENSIVE COMPOUNDS, SECONDARY METABOLITES.

AND SO WE'RE HOPING THAT BY SHIFTING THE BALANCE, WE CAN CHANGE THE COMMUNITY DYNAMICS IN FAVOR OF MORE DESIRABLE ALLERGY.

SO THAT'S WHY WE'RE, WE'RE GOING AFTER THE PHOSPHORUS.

UM, WE HAVE SOME GREAT RESEARCH THAT'S COMING OUT, YOU KNOW, LOOKING AT THRESHOLDS AGAIN, PHOSPHORUS

[00:55:01]

IS ONE OF THESE THINGS WHEN YOU GET TOO MUCH OF IT, TIPS THE ECOSYSTEM OVER TO AN ALTERNATIVE STABLE STATE AND THINGS GO HAYWIRE.

SO WE'RE LOOKING AT IT FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE.

SO THAT THE FIRST PART OF THAT, THE NEXT, UH, IN TERMS OF, UH, WAYS TO REDUCE, UH, THE ZEBRA MUSSELS, QUAGGA MUSSELS POPULATIONS, UH, CURRENTLY THERE'S NOTHING ON THE MARKET.

I MEAN, THERE'S, THERE'S WAYS TO KILL THESE THINGS.

OF COURSE, THERE'S REALLY EASY TO KILL THINGS, BUT UNFORTUNATELY YOU WOULD KILL ALL THE OTHER INVERTEBRATES OUT THERE THAT ARE ESSENTIAL TO THE ECOSYSTEM.

UH, NOT DESIRED.

THERE IS A LOCAL COMPANY.

UH, THEY HAVE HAD A FEDERAL FUNDING FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS.

THEY WERE TRYING TO, UH, DEVELOP A MICROORGANISM.

THAT WAS, THAT WOULD BE, UH, HAVE US REACT TO ITS GENETICS.

AND WHEN THE ZEBRA MUSSELS WOULD CONSUME IT, UM, IT WOULD, UH, EFFECTIVELY KILLED THE ZEBRA MUSSELS AND ALL THE MAGIC THAT GOES ON INSIDE OF THERE.

BUT IT WOULD BE A ZEBRA MUSSEL SPECIFIC.

IT WOULD BE GOING AFTER THAT ONE SPECIES WITHOUT HARMING OTHER MUSCLES OR OTHER FILTER FEEDERS, UM, YOU KNOW, KIND OF THE SAME WAY THAT SOME OF THESE, UM, TREATMENTS, YOU KNOW, CAN TARGET JUST SPECIFIC CANCER CELLS, YOU KNOW, WHEN INJECTED INTO THE BLOODSTREAM.

SO THAT'S SOMETHING THAT'S IN FINGERS CROSSED.

UM, YOU KNOW, THAT A TECHNOLOGY COMES ALONG THAT CAN, UH, REMOVE THESE, UM, YOU KNOW, I, I DON'T KNOW IF THEY'RE WORKING ON THINGS LIKE WITH THE, UH, UH, C LAMP RE UM, YOU KNOW, YOU, YOU INTRODUCE STERILE INDIVIDUALS AND YOU GO AFTER THEM IN THE JUVENILE STAGE.

SO YOU'RE NOT AFFECTING THE ECOSYSTEM.

YOU'RE JUST SLOWLY, UH, CHIPPING AWAY AT THEIR POPULATION DYNAMICS.

SO MAYBE THAT'S SOMETHING THAT'LL OCCUR, UH, TO YOUR POINT.

YOU'RE EXACTLY RIGHT.

ZERO MUSCLE POPULATIONS GOING UP AND DOWN, ALGAE BIOMASS GOES UP AND DOWN ON THE AMOUNT OF NUTRIENTS AVAILABLE THAT THEY'RE CYCLING GOES UP AND DOWN.

SO WE COULD SEE, UH, THESE, YOU KNOW, EVERY TWO, THREE YEARS, IRRESPECTIVE OF HYDROLOGY OR TEMPERATURE CHANGES IN, UH, CYANOBACTERIA BIOMASS STRICTLY RELATED TO THE BIOMASS OF THESE AERIAL MUSCLES NOW, UH, OPTIMISTICALLY WITH THE SEDIMENT, PHOSPHOROUS MANAGEMENT, YOU KNOW, MAYBE THAT'S ENOUGH TO TIP THE SCALES IN OUR FAVOR.

THAT'S WHY IT'S RESEARCH.

TOTALLY.

YOU FEEL YOU APPRECIATE IT? NO FURTHER QUESTIONS.

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS ON THE REMOTE DIAS? OKAY.

WHAT ABOUT THE IN-PERSON DYESS, MR. BRIMER? YEAH.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, DOCTOR FOR YOUR, UH, PRESENTATIONS.

I'M GOING TO WORK IN KIND OF REVERSE ORDER HERE.

UM, UH, YOU MENTIONED THAT, UH, WITH REGARD TO THE, UH, SCULPTURE FALLS PROBLEM, THAT YOU'RE GOING TO START A, UH, PROJECT AT OTHER AND OTHER CREEKS TO MONITOR SIMILAR BACTERIAL, UH, SITUATIONS.

UH, DO YOU KNOW WHICH CREEKS THAT YOU'RE GOING TO BE LOOKING AT AND WHEN THAT'S GOING TO START? UM, NOPE, NOPE.

UH, IT'S STILL IN DEVELOPMENT.

UM, WHAT WE'RE, WE'RE EVALUATING, UM, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE, UH, WATER QUALITY DYNAMICS, SOME OF THE FLOW DYNAMICS WE WANT TO SEE IF WE CAN KIND OF, YOU KNOW, MAYBE CREATE A HIERARCHY OF, YOU KNOW, WHAT SYSTEMS WOULD PRESENT THE HIGHEST RISK.

UM, OBVIOUSLY A SCULPTURE FALLS WAS, UH, KIND OF A SHOT CAUSE WE THINK OF BARTON CREEK AS BEING THIS, YOU KNOW, VERY CLEAN, CLEAR SYSTEM, WHICH IT IS.

UM, BUT WHEN YOU GET THESE ISOLATED POOLS, UM, YOU KNOW, THINGS CAN LOOK DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT.

UH, SO THAT'S KIND OF CHANGING OUR CALCULUS IN TERMS OF OUR SITE SELECTION, UM, AND, AND HOW WE'RE PARSING THAT OUT.

SO, YOU KNOW, STAY TUNED AGAIN.

I THINK WE'RE GOING TO TRY FOR SOMETHING BY THE END OF THE SUMMER, UH, AS KIND OF A BASELINE, UH, UH, SYSTEMATIC SURVEY.

UM, AND THEN WE'LL GO FROM THERE AND MODIFY FUTURE, UH, SURVEYS BASED ON, YOU KNOW, KIND OF OUR INITIAL RESULTS.

OKAY.

THE REASON I ASK IS I'M, THE DISTRICT I AM, WAS APPOINTED FROM, IS IN NORTHWEST AUSTIN.

AND A BULL CREEK IS VERY HEAVILY USED BY THE LOCAL POPULATION AND, UH, OR PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE CITY FOR THAT MATTER, COME OUT THERE TO USE IT.

AND THERE'S A LOT OF AREAS THAT GO STAGNANT OR NEAR STAGNANT IN LATER IN THE SUMMER BECAUSE OF LACK OF THROAT FLOW THROUGH THE CREEK.

AND THAT KIND OF RESEMBLES THE SITUATION YOU HAVE AT SCULPTURE FALLS.

SO MY RECOMMENDATION IS TO LOOK AT AREAS AROUND A BULL CREEK DISTRICT PARK, AND PERHAPS A LITTLE BIT FURTHER UPSTREAM FROM THERE, UH, WHERE THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE RECREATING IN THE WATER THERE, UH,

[01:00:02]

THEN GOING BACK TO THE PHOSPHORUS THING, UH, I KNOW IT'S DIFFICULT SOMETIMES TO, UH, YOU KNOW, POLLUTION SOMETIMES COMES FROM EVERYWHERE.

UH, SO IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO DO THIS PERHAPS, BUT IS THE CONCENTRATION OF PHOSPHORUS IN THE WATER? IS THAT A POINT, IS THERE A POINT SOURCE FOR ANY OF THIS OR IS IT JUST COMING FROM EVERYWHERE? YEAH.

YOU KNOW, UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS SOMETHING, UM, AND, AND AGAIN, THIS IS A NATIONAL PROBLEM.

IT'S THE NON-POINT POLLUTION.

NOW, THE EPA, UM, THE CLEAN WATER ACT, THEY, THEIR REGULATIONS, UH, WERE EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE IN CLEANING UP OUR POINT SOURCES OF POLLUTION.

UM, AND UNFORTUNATELY, UH, AND, AND I WORKED FOR THE EPA BEFORE COMING HERE.

UH, THERE'S JUST NOT THE POLITICAL WILL TO GO AFTER NON-POINT SOURCES OF POLLUTION, UH, YOU KNOW, TMD L'S, YOU KNOW, KIND OF ARE A START.

UM, BUT, UH, THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT IT'S, IT'S, IT'S A CHALLENGE, UH, BUT IT'S ABSOLUTELY SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN ON.

UM, YOU KNOW, W WHEN YOU GO INTO THE WATERSHED, ANY, ANY PROPERTY THAT DOESN'T HAVE A BUFFER STRIP NEAR A CREEK, UM, THAT, YOU KNOW, IS, IS CLEAR, CUTTING IS, UH, FERTILIZING.

THESE ARE ALL NON-POINT SOURCES, AND, YOU KNOW, IT, THOSE INPUTS NEED TO BE QUANTIFIED AND MANAGED.

UM, AND IT'S, IT'S A HUGE CHALLENGE.

LCRA HAS BEEN FANTASTIC.

THEY HAVE A LOT OF EDUCATION AND OUTREACH, UM, IN TERMS OF BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES, LAND USE PRACTICES TO TRY TO REDUCE THOSE INPUTS.

UM, BUT YOU KNOW, AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT'S, YOU KNOW, EVERY HOMEOWNER THAT'S IN THE WATERSHED, UH, THESE PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO START BUYING IN AND, YOU KNOW, MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICES WITH THEIR LANDSCAPES AND PROPERTIES, PUTTING IN RAIN GARDENS, PUTTING IN CISTERNS, UM, ZEROSCAPING OR PUTTING IN NATIVE PLANTS THAT DON'T REQUIRE ALL THIS EXTRA MAINTENANCE.

UH, WHAT I HEAR YOU SAYING IS THAT THE, THE SOURCE OF THE PHOSPHORUS IS A GENERALLY PROPERTY OWNERS THAT ABUT SOME ASPECT OF THE CREEK UPSTREAM, OR DIRECTLY NEXT TO THE LAKE WHERE YOUR, YOU KNOW, WHERE YOU FIND THIS CONDITION.

AND IT'S USUALLY FERTILIZER IS THE ORIGINAL SOURCE OF THE PHOSPHORUS.

IT'S NOT OCCURRING NATURALLY IN NATURE LEACHING OUT OF THE GROUND FROM SOME SORT OF, UH, EXISTING SOURCE WITHIN THE, UH, YOU KNOW, THE GEOGRAPHY GEOLOGY, CORRECT? YEP.

IT'S YEAH.

AND IT'S NOT JUST HOMEOWNERS, YOU KNOW, GOLF COURSES, RANCH, FARMERS, ET CETERA.

UM, AND YEAH, IT'S, THERE'S VERY FEW GEOLOGIC FEATURES THAT ARE SOURCES OF PHOSPHORUS, YOU KNOW, FLORIDA OF COURSE HAS HUGE PHOSPHATE MINES, PHOSPHORUS, MINES.

UM, YEAH, IT'S, IT'S A, IT'S A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BEAST, UH, GEO CHEMICALLY COMPARED TO NITROGEN.

UM, SO, YOU KNOW, BY AND LARGE, ANYTHING ABOVE BACKGROUND IS ANTHROPOGENIC.

OKAY.

UH, GETTING BACK TO THE ORIGINAL OR THE, THE, THE, THE THING WITH THE, THESE ZEBRA MUSSELS, UH, I HEARD YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE ZEBRA MUSSELS, UH, I'M AWARE OF MUSCLES, UH, FILTER THE WATER AND THEY REMOVE ALL SORTS OF, UH, POLLUTANTS AND THAT SORT OF THING.

BUT THEY ALSO, I DID, I HEAR YOU CORRECTLY WHEN YOU SAY THAT THEY, UM, THEY DISCHARGE SOME OF THAT POLLUTANTS INTO, INTO THE SEDIMENT BELOW THE, UH, YOU KNOW, BELOW WHERE THEY HAPPEN TO LIVE.

SO IN A WAY THEY CONCENTRATE THE, UH, POLLUTANTS INTO THE WATER OR INTO THE, THE, THE SEDIMENT BELOW WHEREVER THEY ARE THAT CORRECT.

EXACTLY.

YEP.

UH, YOU KNOW, THAT YOU HAVE NATURALLY YOUR PHYTOPLANKTON, A DIVERSE COMMUNITY OF ALGAE GREEN ALGAE, DIATOMS, RED ALGAE, GOLDEN ALGAE, CYANOBACTERIA, ALL THESE THINGS FLOATING IN THE WATER COLUMN, AND THEY'RE ALL COMPRISED OF, OF NUTRIENTS AS THE MUSCLES ARE FILTERING THOSE OUT.

UM, REMOVING ALL THAT ORGANIC MATTER FROM THE WATER COLUMN.

AND OF COURSE, EVERYTHING POOPS, UH, THEY DEPOSIT FECES PSEUDO FECES AT THE BOTTOM.

SO YOU GET THESE LITTLE NUTRIENT FERTILIZER PELLETS BEING DEPOSITED AROUND THEIR BEDS.

AND THEY'RE ALSO, YOU KNOW, THROUGH OTHER EXCRETION PROCESSES, RELEASING AMMONIA AND PHOSPHATE INTO THE WATER, UH, THERE'S RESEARCH IN SOME OF THE LAKES UP NORTH THAT HAVE SHOWN HOW THOSE, UH, SPECIFIC, UH, DISSOLVE NUTRIENT CONCENTRATIONS INCREASE IN THE WATER SUBSEQUENT TUESDAY FOR MUSCLE INVASION.

AND IT JUST SO HAPPENS.

UH, WE HAVE, AGAIN, I MENTIONED THAT OUR MONITORING SITES CORRESPOND WITH LONG-TERM MONITORING, AND WE SAW A STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN AMMONIA CONCENTRATIONS AT OUR MONITORING SITES AFTER THE INVASION, THE ZEBRA MUSSELS AND AMMONIA HAPPENS TO BE THE FAVORITE, UH, FORM OF NITROGEN THAT CYANOBACTERIA LIKE.

SO

[01:05:02]

IN THERE.

OKAY.

UH, AND I BELIEVE YOU SAID THERE'S NO REAL WAY TO, TO GET RID OF THEM OTHER, I MEAN, THERE'S NO REAL WAY TO GET RID OF THEM.

THEY JUST KIND OF ARE THERE INDEFINITELY.

OKAY.

YEP.

YEP.

ONE MORE QUESTION IS, UM, WITH THE, I SKIPPED THIS EARLIER, UH, THESE, THESE ALGAE BLOOMS THAT YOU'RE TRYING TO GET RID OF BY SPREADING THIS, UH, CLAY MATERIAL ON THERE, THAT'S SEEMS LIKE TO BE SOMETHING THAT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE, THAT THE CITY'S GOING