HRI Showcases Bringing Baffin Back at 2022 Texan by Nature Conservation Summit

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) was represented at this year’s annual Texan by Nature Conservation Summit by Dr. Michael Wetz, HRI’s Endowed Chair for Coastal Ecosystem Processes, and Katie Iverson, HRI’s Development Officer. In his presentation, Wetz introduced the Bringing Baffin Back initiative to attendees and served on a panel, “Conservation Models of Success.” Bringing Baffin Back was selected as one of four 2022 Conservation Wranglers by Texan by Nature.

Texan by Nature, founded by Former First Lady Laura Bush, aims to connect conservation and business leaders by amplifying projects and activating new investments in conservation that returns real benefits for people, prosperity, and our state’s natural resources. The Conservation Summit is a unique gathering that focuses on bringing together conservation and business leaders for a rich, impact-focused dialogue and networking. This year, the summit was held in Dallas in early November.

“The Summit was an all-around inspiring experience,” Wetz said. “From hearing about the amazing conservation work that is being done in Texas, to engaging deeply with leaders who are doing this work, and most importantly, to being able to showcase the Bringing Baffin Back initiative, it was a truly rewarding experience.”

In addition to panel discussions and presentations, those in attendance at the Summit were able to watch the premiere of a video produced by Texas by Nature on Bringing Baffin Back.

Bringing Baffin Back - TxN 2022 Conservation Wrangler

Baffin Bay is the “jewel” of the Texas coast, with salty waters that have traditionally supported world-class fishing for spotted seatrout, redfish, and black drum. However, over the last two decades there has been a significant decline in its water quality and a subsequent decline in ecosystem health, including loss of critical habitats and negative impacts on important fish species. The Bringing Baffin Back initiative, led by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, represents a sustained commitment to dramatically improve the health of Baffin Bay and the economy of local communities that it supports.

Bringing Baffin Back, in partnership with the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, aims to restore and conserve Baffin Bay, a natural resource of great cultural, ecological, and economic importance to Texas. Bringing Baffin Back is a sustained commitment to dramatically improve the health of Baffin Bay and the surrounding economy through partnerships between scientists and stakeholders who want the bay to thrive. Restoring the health of the Baffin Bay watershed has potential to enhance recreational and educational opportunities, ecosystem services, and the overall economy of the greater Coastal Bend area.

“I can’t stress enough how important this event was for getting TAMU-CC, HRI, and Bringing Baffin Back exposure on a much larger stage,” Wetz continued. “One of the most fun parts of the event was having two TAMU-CC grads come up to me and chat about their careers and life after graduation, which exemplifies that we have students who are going on to get great positions in leading businesses in Texas.”

Learn more about Texan by Nature and the annual Conservation Summit on the Texas by Nature website.

Those interested in learning how to get involved with Bringing Baffin Back can find more information by visiting the HRI website.