June 16, 2015 at 8:09 PM CDT - Updated July 9 at 4:12 PM
LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE)
Lake Livingston is the second largest lake in Texas. It's also one of the oldest. Over the years, it's began to lose the habitat that keeps it alive. Conservation groups, students, and even officials have come together to complete a 10-year $250,000 habitat enhancement project to “bring Lake Livingston back to life.”
Green thumbs paired with a love for Lake Livingston brought these volunteers out early Tuesday morning, and they weren't afraid to get their hands dirty.
"There's a six- to 12-week period that we as adults do a lot of the work," said Tom McDonough, of Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs.
Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Trinity River Authority, and several other conservation groups are hard at work this summer on a project that they say will bring Lake Livingston back to life.
"Lake Livingston is very habitat limited. It's a large lake," said Dan Ashe, of Texas Parks and Wildlife.
It's the second largest lake in Texas to be exact, but its 83,000 acres are running low on aquatic vegetation.
"With this lack of habitat, they need somewhere to live," Ashe said.
The 20-plus partners involved in the project are replenishing the natural habitat one water-willow at a time.
"After we split them and re-pot them it takes about six to eight weeks for them to mature," said Jim Meyer of the Texas Master Naturalists.
The plants are grown in several tanks at Livingston High School. They provide the habitat for game fish, birds, and reptiles.
"This fit right into their program and they would like to have the tanks on their property," McDonough said.
"We arrange volunteers, and we'll transport these plants from these tanks to the lakes and plant them in about one foot of water," Meyer said.
The project will enhance not only the aesthetics of the lake but the habitat for large mouth bass to birds. It teaches students both economic and biological importance of keeping a vibrant lake.
Lastly, it brings the community together while keeping the lake they love alive.
McDonough thanked Mayor Newport of Onalaka who was in attendance Tuesday morning. Newport has helped to fund the project.
Onalaska and Cold Springs ISD have now incorporated tanks at their campuses. The goal is to have a total of 20 tanks in five to nine school districts.