Initial Study on the Recreational Impacts to Protected Species and Habitats in the Comal and San Marcos Springs Ecosystems


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November 2010


This report is an initial study and compilation of existing data and research that illustrates the impacts of water-based recreational activities on protected species and habitats in the Comal and San Marcos Springs ecosystems for the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP). The EARIP limited the project area to those portions of the Comal and San Marcos Springs that are within the city limits of New Braunfels and San Marcos.This study is a summary of existing data that was made available to Halff Associates by the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program, the cities of New Braunfels and San Marcos, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the River Systems Institute of Texas State University. During the course of the study, existing data from various sources was reviewed and evaluated in an effort to identify and locate water-based recreational activities within the limits of the project area. Halff Associates worked to quantify and map the numbers of users, times of use, types of users and the areas they frequent, numbers and locations of endangered species, the locations and limits of their habitats. Halff also conducted review of existing ordinances that pertain to recreation and recreation development on and around the springs. Interviews with various stakeholders were conducted. Water quality data on protected species and their habitats was mapped. A review of existing scientific studies regarding recreational impacts on protected species and economic data from existing studies that was pertinent to the project area was reviewed. The sources of all this data include scientific studies, consultant studies, public agency records and stakeholder interviews.

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