For the past 20 years, the EAA has carried out its mission to manage, enhance, and protect the Edwards Aquifer system for the benefit of all who depend upon it as a natural resource. To further support the EAA’s mission and programs, the Edwards Aquifer Conservancy (EAC) was created in 2014.
The EAC raises funds through grants and tax-deductible philanthropic donations. All donations and gifts are used to continuously support and improve programs that benefit the Edwards Aquifer and the communities that depend upon it. Education is a crucial program with the goal to engage and inform stakeholders in the region about the issues affecting our aquifer.
In 2015, the EAA’s education team made presentations to 25,502 students and teachers (PreK-College) in public and private schools throughout the EAA’s eight county jurisdictional area. Like the drop of water that ripples away from its point of contact, our goal is to reach beyond the presentation or classroom. We want to create an effect that continues throughout the region. That is why the EAA also partners with community businesses and organizations by sponsoring local programs and providing mobile educational displays for use at libraries, town halls, and other civic occasions. In 2015, the extended EAA outreach team engaged with approximately 36,291 individuals through community events and partnerships from Uvalde to Hays counties.
In 2016, the EAA’s 20th anniversary year, the EAC celebrated by accepting an annual donation of $45,000 for three years from the Cemex Corporation in New Braunfels in support of the EAA’s Educator Excursion series. This program gives both formal and informal educators exclusive access to aquifer-related locations and personal interaction with staff geologists, hydrologists, and biologists. Additionally, as a registered State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provider, educators can gain CPE hours and Gifted and Talented credit by their attendance on these excursions. They also gain invaluable, hands-on experience and leave with educational materials and lessons to continue the learning experience with their students—expanding our ripple effect.
The EAA’s education programs, outreach support, and partnerships are strong and collaborative—spanning many years and extending to all eight counties within our jurisdiction. The EAC’s support of these programs is an integral part of our mission going forward.