The International Erosion Control Association’s (IECA) Region One annual event, Environmental Connection, will be held 16 – 19 February 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. Organizers have announced three field trips affiliated with the conference for erosion and sediment control professionals.
San Antonio River Improvements Project – Mission Reach
The San Antonio River Improvements Project includes the largest urban river restoration in the United States. Matthew Driffill will lead this 18 February 2016 tour (8:00 am – 12:00 pm) and provide details on the $384 million project, which is funded by Bexas County, the City of San Antonio, and the US Army Corps of Engineers, along with private donations via the San Antonio River Foundation. Discussion will be included on the Historic River Walk extension and how the project is expanding opportunities for river area’s annual 11.5 million visitors. Additonal details.
San Antonio River – Museum Reach/ Underground Tunnels Tour
On 19 February 2016, from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, the conference offers a fascinating tour of the San Antonio River Museum Reach, River Walk, and San Antonio River Tunnel. The area is host to a vigorous effort to reshape and control the waterway—an effort that has been on-going since the city’s founding in 1718. Today, modern environmental engineering best practices are helping steer a positive direction. Recent changes include the doubling of the renowned River Walk and the construction of the Museum Reach-Urban segment, which includes a two-chamber lock and dam, 1.3 miles of new walkways, landscaping, public art, and pocket parks. Additional details.
Beckmann Quarry Tour
Also available on the morning of 19 February 2016 is Aleisha Knochenhauer’s tour of the Beckman Quarry. Knochenhauer, P.E., is a Regional Manager – Environmental Services. She will take attendees through the largest limestone quarry in the United States. The site is situated adjacent to a high-end residential community atop the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, which is the sole-source drinking water supply San Antonio. Exceptional erosion and sediment control techniques have greatly reduced the impact of quarry operations to this environmentally sensitive area. Also, the quarry’s high walls depict the stratigraphic history of the former coral reef complex that has faulted and weathered to provide conduits for water to flow, via cracks and fissures, into a network of caverns beneath San Antonio. A truly unique tour experience. Additional details.