Discover Your Island

Tony Wood

An Outstanding Islander

Photo of Tony Wood

Protecting Texas Waterways

Prevention, planning, and response are three words Tony Wood lives by in order to keep all of Texas’ inlets and environmental resources safe from the threat of oil spills. As Director of the National Spill Control School at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Wood specializes in training students, professionals, and community volunteers to leap into action at a moment’s notice.

“Our mantra at the National Spill Control School is to do no more harm than good,” said Wood. “When I teach responders, I try to make sure that they know how to respond in ways that respect the environment and Corpus Christi’s natural beauty while they continue to recognize that we live in a petroleum-driven economy.”

Wood brings a background of more than 30 years of experience in hazardous waste, environmental sustainability, and environmental business development to the National Spill Control School. A 1979 graduate of Corpus Christi State University, Wood returned to the Island University in 2010 and has recently upped the National Spill Control Schools training programs to include rigorous live drills and ambitious research.

Oftentimes, Wood can be spotted training a boatful of government agency employees, oil response groups, environmental consulting firms, refinery workers, and students. By providing students with the opportunity to work with the latest oil spill equipment, Wood is building a strong network that stands ready to save our resources from potential danger. He believes that this hands-on experience is invaluable for students and gives them the opportunity to work alongside professionals within the career field.

When Wood is not out on the water, he is in the boardroom creating an expansive response plan for Texas’ important waterways. One of his major research projects includes mapping and creating protection plans for the tidal inlets along the coast.

“We have a dynamic and robust economic engine here in Corpus Christi,” said Wood. “An oil spill in any of our sensitive habitats has the potential to kill fish and harm wildlife, but it could also affect our industries and tourism.”

The plan includes strategies for preventing oil from reaching the more sensitive habitats of our inland bays and estuaries, tidal flats, and mangroves. Wood’s forward thinking, leadership, and effective planning will help ensure that the beauty and prosperity of the Texas Coast is preserved for future generations and that if and when spills do occur, the response is quick and efficient.