In 2008, the Rio Grande International Study Center was instrumental in preventing the destruction of a 20-acre wetland adjacent to Casa Blanca International State Park.
RGISC mounted a media and grass-roots campaign against the filling of the pond and its feeder stream, which absorb toxic runoff from the Laredo airport and Bob Bullock Loop. This area is very important for maintaining water quality and for providing a green space near the state park for residents who have few other places to enjoy nature.
The organization and its volunteers accumulated 13,000 signatures petitioning the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny the 404 permit required to destroy the wetland. A weekly Sunday-evening vigil along Bob Bullock Loop next to the property drew strong support from citizens.
Unfortunately, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers eventually granted the permit for the destruction, the City of Laredo agreed to sell the entire parcel of land that includes the wetland, and the developer had no plans for preserving and keeping this critical eco-system intact. However, RGISC’s advocacy and media campaign helped educate many citizens about the critical role of wetlands.
Rio Grande International Study Center 1 West End Washington St. Bldg P-11, Laredo, Texas