The contract has been signed for the work to provide a refuge for endangered species, between EAA and USFWS. This refuge on McCarty Lane will be enlarged to have space for basic research as well as being ready to handle a drought. If a drought makes the rivers here or in New Braunfels dry up, that would mean endangered species would have to be held in aquariums at SMARC to keep them alive. We do not expect the river to dry up if the droughts do not get worse than the 1950’s one, since the HCP has so many projects underway to protect the river’s flow, But we have to be ready, according to the terms of the HCP agreement. And it could be a worse drought that we expected! So this multi-million dollar contract will help get the facility ready for such a disaster, making sufficient space to keep the species alive, allow them to reproduce there, and stay healthy so they can be reintroduced to the river after the drought breaks. It took at least a year to work on this contract, and it was complex, so we congratulate the HCP staff at EAA for their hard work, and refugium staff too.