Environmental Protection

Hiker trail at Purgatory Creek Park in San Marcos.

The City of San Marcos advances responsible stewardship of the community’s natural, cultural, and historical resources through varied environmentally friendly policies and practices.

Outcome statement: Set the standard by demonstrating responsible stewardship of the environment, including our rivers, aquifers, and other sensitive features.

I. Incorporate green stormwater and water/energy conservation infrastructure.

  • Staff, in collaboration with consultants, have established the scope of the Stormwater Master Plan.  Part of their scope includes addressing green stormwater in CIP projects and will be taken to council at a future date.      

II. Ensure that applicable City staff are equipped and trained to readily identify and respond to releases (i.e. sewer discharges, chemical spills, etc.) that may cause negative impacts to rivers and aquifers. 

  • The Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures Plan (SPCC) has been updated and will be in effect until September 2027.
  • Code Compliance and Environmental Health attended the Texas Regional Stormwater Conference in September 2023.
  • Attended conference on Household Hazardous Waste and Disaster debris training in September.
  • The City's Office of Emergency Management hosted stormwater training through the Texas Department of Emergency Management for Neighborhood Enhancement and Public Works staff in September. 

III. Incorporate environmental stewardship into new and existing City facilities and master plans.

  • Staff is exploring the idea of incorporating a One Water concept into our future facilities.
  • Implemented City Organization Waste Management Plan to increase diversion via compost and recycling.
  • Installed new waste containers inside and outside of city facilities.
  • Continued promotion of Adopt-A-Spot program and operation of the Reuse Warehouse for residents, every Saturday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

IV. ­­­­Develop and promote programs that protect and promote environmental stewardship.

  • The City Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan (EAHCP) Conservation Crew continues to be funded through the EAHCP program. The Conservation Crew continues to help educate river users on endangered species protection and stewardship practices, collects litter, manages litter boat and helps to report violations of Park Rules. The Crew also continues to maintain and install EAHCP educational signage along the river.
  • Collaborated with Texas State University Engineering Department to develop mobile model to show residents how rainwater infiltrates native plants and permeable surfaces and the Chemistry Department to develop a Fats, Oils and Grease program (FOG)  .
  • Created activity guide to promote environmental stewardship that takes families along the San Marcos River. 
  • Resource Recovery partnering with TDS to go into SMCISD schools to teach the waste system process with eco stations.
  • Continued development of Certified Habitat Stewardship Program encouraging residents and businesses to remove turf and plant native grasses and plants for biodiversity and stormwater management