The Book of Texas Bays

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In a dazzling tribute to the Texas coast, conservationist and lawyer Jim Blackburn has teamed with photographer Jim Olive to give us the most intimate and important portrait yet of Texas bays and of those who work for their wise use and preservation. While giving life and sustenance to plants, animals, and people, the bays and estuaries of Texas have other stories to tell—about freshwater inflows, deep port construction, disappearing oyster beds, beach resorts, industrial pollution, and more. At a certain point, each story brings opposing forces into the courtroom for vigorous debates on the future of some of our most valuable and irreplaceable resources.

The Book of Texas Bays is a personal account of legal battles won and lost, but it is also a fine work of natural history by someone who has a deep spiritual connection to the Texas coast and all it has to offer. Jim Olive’s stunning photographs present us with a dramatic perspective of our relationship with the Gulf and remind us of both the grandness and the fragility of our coastal treasures.

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Editorial Reviews

John & Gloria Tveten

“There is no other publication available that treats so thoroughly and concisely the environmental problems along the Texas coast and the battles that have been waged to conserve our coastal treasures . . . As an environmental lawyer, the author has been personally involved in many of the hearings and court battles that have taken place in an effort to preserve these resources. He has an excellent reputation among conservation and educational groups, and he knows the people involved at each step in the process, from the biologists and ecologists to the commercial fishermen and shrimpers who ply the coastal strand. No one is better suited to write these accounts. Blackburn brings a unique perspective to his work, discussing the legal machinations while, at the same time, reveling in the delights of recreation in this land of surf and sand and sun. The reader is treated to the joys of wade-fishing or kayaking in a quiet bay as well as the mysterious federal and state permitting processes that often take place behind closed doors.”--John and Gloria Tveten, Nature writers/Photographers
Texas Aggie
". . a masterpiece on Texas bays and those dedicated to preserving them."
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Product Details

Meet the Author

JIM BLACKBURN, an attorney specializing in environmental law at BlackburnCarter Law Firm in Houston, is adjunct professor and lecturer at Rice University where he teaches environmental law. In 2001 he received the National Wildlife Federation’s National Conservation Achievement Award, and in 1998 the Bob Eckhardt Lifetime Achievement Award from the General Land Office of the State of Texas
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Table of Contents

1 Spirit of the mud 3
2 Water and Sabine Lake 6
3 Wetlands of the upper Texas coast 17
4 Smith Point 27
5 Wallisville 38
6 The Houston ship channel 48
7 Galveston Bay and Bayport 59
8 Galveston Island 71
9 Christmas Bay 84
10 Lake Jackson and the Columbia bottomlands 96
11 Sargent 108
12 Matagorda Bay 118
13 Mad Island 132
14 Palacios 145
15 Lavaca Bay and Formosa Plastics 156
16 Port O'Connor 167
17 San Antonio Bay and sustainability 175
18 Rockport 187
19 Port Aransas and lighthouse lakes 195
20 Nueces Bay 205
21 Corpus Christi and development 213
22 The King Ranch 225
23 Port Mansfield 236
24 Laguna Atascosa 247
25 South Padre Island and South Bay 257
26 The Rio Grande 267
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