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July 2010 cover image 12 Why Water Matters

At Water’s Edge

Where water meets land, two worlds converge in a flowing, shifting balance of nature.

By Earl Nottingham

For hundreds of years we have engaged in a war to “tame” the land we call Texas. In the process we’ve created a state we’re proud to call home, but there has been terrible collateral damage.

The air is still cool on this dead-calm morning as the sun begins to peep through a light fog on Redfish Bay. Two fishermen guide their kayaks through mangrove trails and seagrasses with the outgoing tide, trying to absorb the beauty surrounding them and bearing witness to nature’s timeless choreography. Land and water dance silently together with the tide’s push and pull — creating a marriage of fresh and salt water and providing a nutrient-rich ecosystem in which marine life thrives and upon which life at the water’s edge depends. Our bays and estuaries represent life not only to animals in and around them, but also to the people whose livelihood depends on their bounty.

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