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Time and Events in Conservation History

Time Region Topic Event
1681 International Wildlife Extinction of the Dodo, a flightless bird native to Mauritius, lost to meat hunting and destruction of its eggs by introduced rats, pigs and monkeys
1729 Texas Water, Irrigation San Antonio River first diverted for irrigation at Spanish missions
1739 United States Pollution In one of the first American environmental protests, Benjamin Franklin and other Philadelphia tradesmen petition the Assembly against slaughterhouse waste in Dock Creek
1768 International Wildlife Extinction of the Steller's Sea Cow, a marine mammal once found along the Pacific Rim, from Japan to California, lost to hunting for meat and hides
1800 International Population World human population rises to 1 billion
1814 United States of America Science, Information Completion of Alexander Wilson's work, American Ornithology
1820 Texas Population Texas population estimated to be 20,000
1832 United States of America Parks Arkansas Hot Springs established as a national reservation, serving as a precedent for the protection of Yellowstone and the later creation of a national park system
1835 United States of America Information, Literature Ralph Waldo Emerson writes the essay, Nature, beginning an American tradition of Transcendentalism
1836 Texas Population Texas population gauged at roughly 50,000
1839 International Technology Sir William Robert Grove invents the fuel cell, giving the promise of a relatively clean energy source
1839 United States of America Science, Information, Art, Wildlife John James Audubon's Birds of America is published
1840 Texas Water, Legislation The Republic of Texas turns from the Spanish and Mexican system of water appropriation, based on the concept of first-in-time, first-in-right for beneficial water uses, and adopts the English rule of riparian right where all owners of land adjacent to a s
1846 International Technology John Deere has a Pittsburgh company roll the country's first cast steel plow, leading to the efficient breaking of prairie sod
1846 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Ferdinand von Roemer notes it was punishable by fine to kill vultures in Texas, the first mention of wildlife protection in the state, possibly a county or common law provision
1850 United States of America Wildlife Introduction of the English Sparrow into Brooklynn, one of the first exotic species to be brought into the United States
1852 Texas Water, Legislation The State of Texas passes the Irrigation Act of 1852 which grants counties the authority to regulate dams and ditches, starting a Texas tradition of delegating water decisions to local governments
1854 International Water, Public Health Dr. John Snow identifies water from a contaminated London well as the cause of a local cholera outbreak
1854 United States of America Information Henry David Thoreau's Walden published
1854 United States of America Information, Science Completion of plates and text for the Vivipaous Quadrupeds of North America, by John James Audubon and John Bachman
1854 United States of America Technology, Water Daniel Halladay introduces the mechanical windmill, allowing the settling of the arid sections of the Midwest
1855 United States of America Technology, Water Pollution Chicago develops first comprehensive sewer plan in a major American city
1856 Texas Water Supreme Court of Texas recognizes a riparian system of water rights, allowing landowners adjacent to rivers to divert water
1859 United States of America Energy, Technology Edwin Drake strikes oil at Titusville, Pennsylvania ushering in the era of petroleum as a major energy source
1860 Texas Population Texas state population estimated to be 600,000
1860 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas enacts its first formal game law, a local ordinance protecting quail and partridge for 2 years on Galveston Island
1861 Texas Parks Texas acquires ten acres of public property at San Jacinto to commemorate the Texas revolution's decisive battle, designated in 1897 as a park
1864 United States of America Information Publication of Man and Nature: the Earth as Modified by Human Action, by George Perkins Marsh
1864 United States of America Parks President Lincoln signs a bill granting Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove to the State of California as an inalienable public trust, the first protection of lands for scenic value
1866 International Information, Science German biologist Ernst Haeckel coins the term, ecology
1866 United States of America Legislation Passage of the Mining Act in the U.S., subsidizing resource extraction
1866 United States of America Non-Profit Groups American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals founded
1868 International Technology, Forests John Casson introduces the continuous feed circular saw, greatly accelerating the ability to process logs into planks
1870 United States of America Non-Profit Groups, Wildlife, Science Organization of the American Fisheries Society
1871 United States of America Information John Burroughs' Wake Robin is published
1872 International Information Global research voyage of the HMS Challenger
1872 United States of America Parks Setting aside of Yellowstone as the first official US national park
1873 International Technology Joseph Glidden invents barbed wire, enabling continuous high-stocking-rate grazing
1874 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas enacts its first trespass statute, protecting enclosed lands from trespass by "shooting, hunting, fishing or fowling"
1874 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas enacts regulations restricting coastal seining and netting
1876 Texas Water Irrigation for farming in the Lower Rio Grande Valley begins on a small scale
1876 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Organization of the Appalachian Mountain Club
1879 Texas Wildlife, Legislation First state-wide Texas game law is passed, protecting songbirds and established a season for dove and quail hunting
1879 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas creates the Office of Fish Commissioner, charging it with the duties of preserving fish and building fish ladders
1879 United States of America Science, Legislation, Agencies US Geological Survey formed
1880 Texas Population Texas population estimated to be 1,500,000
1881 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas creates a 5-month closed season for prairie chickens and a 3 1/2 month closed season for turkey
1881 United States of America Air Pollution, Legislation Chicago becomes the first American City to enact an ordinance controlling smoke discharges
1882 United States of America Agriculture Massachusetts passes first pure food laws
1882 United States of America Technology, Energy Construction of world's first hydroelectric power plant, sited in Appleton, Wisconsin
1883 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas Legislature exempts over half the state (130 counties) from all fish and game laws
1883 United States of America Wildlife, Non-Profit Groups, Science Formation of the American Ornithology Union
1885 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas Legislature abolishes Office of Fish Commissioner in climate of falling farm commodity prices, and conservation apathy
1888 United States of America Wildlife, Non-Profit Groups Society for the Introduction of European Songbirds of Portland, Oregon introduces 35 pair of Starlings
1889 Texas Water, Legislation Texas passes the Irrigation Act, replacing riparian rights with the prior appropriation system ("first in time, first in right") when diverting water from rivers
1889 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Frio County citizens petition Texas Legislature to place it under protection of state game laws, due in part to insect and rodent crop damage
1890 Texas Forests, Non-Profit Groups Texas Arbor Day and Forestry Association has initial meeting, seeking renewal of forests and diffusion of knowledge regarding woodlands
1891 Texas Water Rice production begins on a commercial scale in Jefferson County with delivery of irrigation water from pumps on Taylor's Bayou
1891 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Responding to millinery threat, Texas enacts protection for seagulls, egrets, herons and pelicans
1891 United States of America Forests, Legislation Congress passes the Forest Reserve Act, authorizing the President to create forest preserves, leading to the formation of the National Forest system
1892 International Technology Rudolf Diesel invents the internal combustion engine
1892 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Sierra Club founded
1893 Texas Parks Texas authorizes funds for purchase of land at the Alamo site, Goliad, Refugio, and San Jacinto to commemorate critical battles in the Texas Revolution
1893 Texas Water, Dams Austin Dam, the first major dam on the Colorado River, is completed (destroyed in 1900 by floodwaters)
1895 Texas Agencies Texas Fish and Oyster Commission created to regulate fishing in the state
1895 United States of America Information Field & Stream magazine first published
1896 United States of America Agencies Initial funding of the Division of Biological Survey, the precursor of the US Fish and Wildlife Service
1897 Texas Non-Profit Groups Organization of the Texas Game Protective Association
1897 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas Legislature declares that some avian species are public property
1897 Texas Wildlife, Legislation 77 Texas counties claim exemption from state game laws, declining from 130 in 1883
1897 United States of America Agencies Creation of the United States Forest Service
1898 Texas Water, Navigation, Dredging, Canal Railroad magnate Arthur Stilwell organizes dredging of a ship canal from Sabine Lake to Gulf Pass, providing ocean access for Port Arthur
1899 Texas Non-Profit Groups First Audubon group created in Texas, in Galveston
1900 Texas Natural Hazards A hurricane strikes Galveston, inundating the Island and killing 6000 to 12,000
1900 United States of America Wildlife Wild bison population falls to less than 40 from an estimated 30-50 million a century earlier
1901 Texas Wildlife, Legislation State of Texas prohibits nighttime waterfowl hunting
1901 Texas, United States, International Energy Completion of the Spindletop oil well, tapping into a salt dome near Beaumont, and helping found Gulf Oil, Texaco, and the commercial petroleum industry
1902 United States of America Agencies The Bureau of Reclamation is established to construct dams and aqueducts in the arid West
1902 United States of America Technology Willis Carrier invents the first air conditioner, eventually helping enable the American move to the Sun Belt
1903 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas Legislature passes American Ornithological Union Model Law declaring all wildlife to be public property
1903 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas Legislature creates a 5-year closed season on antelope, mountain sheep, and deer, and sets bag limits on turkey, quail, and dove
1903 United States of America Parks President Roosevelt establishes first National Wildlife Refuge, a 5.5-acre bird breeding and roosting site at Pelican Island, Florida
1904 Texas Rulings, Water Texas Supreme Court adopts the rule of capture in Houston Texas & Central Railway Co. v. East, giving surface owner generally unlimited rights to withdraw groundwater under one's land, denying that such use can be restricted by a reasonableness standard
1904 Texas Water Large-scale irrigation begins in the Lower Rio Grande Valley as the arrival of the railroad allows cost-effective delivery of produce to markets
1904 Texas Water, Legislation, Dams Texas Constitutional amendment adopted, authorizing the first public development of water resources in the state
1905 Texas Forests Upon passage of a competitive bidding process in this year, only 31,978 acres of timber on public land remain out of an original 300,000 acres, much having already been distributed in an undervalued and/or fraudulent manner
1905 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas House establishes a Game and Fisheries Committee with jurisdiction over preservation and propagation of state game, and power to regulate fish and oyster industries
1905 United States of America Non-Profit Groups National Audubon Society founded
1905 United States of America Water Pollution, Technology US towns having populations exceeding 4000 have city sewers
1905 United States of America Wildlife Last wild specimen of the Badlands Bighorn Sheep killed at Magpie Creek, North Dakota, following a decline associated with hunting for hides and meat
1905 United States of America Wildlife US. Department of Agriculture publishes A Biological Survey of Texas, by Vernon Bailey
1906 United States of America Parks Passage of the Antiquities Act, permitting the President to set aside unique public lands for future generations as National Monuments
1906 United States of America Parks Devil's Tower, Wyoming, is protected as nation's first National Monument
1907 International Technology Leo Baekeland invents the first synthetic plastic, called Bakelite
1907 Texas Forests Texas timber yield peaks at 2.25 billion boardfeet of lumber
1907 Texas Legislation, Wildlife, Agencies A Game Department is added to the regulatory apparatus of the Texas Fish and Oyster Commission
1907 Texas Wildlife First Texas game wardens hired
1907 United States of America Forests, Pollution, Technology Scott Paper introduces Sani-Towels, the first disposable paper towel
1907 United States of America Wildlife Last example of the Arizona Wapiti, a type of elk, shot in the Chiricahua Mountains following a decline linked to hunting for sport and food
1908 International Air Pollution, Information, Science Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius calculates that carbon dioxide released in fossil fuel combustion will cause a greenhouse effect lifting average temperatures by 5 to 6 degrees Celsius
1908 International Technology Invention of bulldozer by Holt and Company
1908 Texas Non-Profit Groups Founding of the Texas Conservation Association
1908 United States of America Parks, Wildlife, Legislation At President Roosevelt's request, Congress authorizes first funds to buy lands for wildlife protection, resulting in creation of the National Bison Range in Montana
1909 Texas Forests, Non-Profit Groups Yellow Pine Manufacturers Association pledges to practice sound forestry techniques and to lobby for federal and state fire protection
1909 Texas Wildlife First requirement for Texas resident hunters to have a license
1909 United States of America Wildlife, Legislation Congress appropriates money for the USDA's Biological Survey Division to research ways to kill wolves, prairie dogs, and other animals injurious to agriculture
1910 Texas Non-Profit Groups Texas Conservation Association convenes its first meeting, with 200 state officials, lumbermen, and conservationists in attendance, and adopts proposals deploring waste of all natural resources, particularly foress, and recommending creation of a state f
1911 Texas Legislation, Forests Texas House creates a standing committee to investigate forestry legislation
1911 Texas Water Irrigation from wells near Plainview begins, likely the first such operation in the High Plains
1911 United States of America Legislation, Forests, Parks Congressional passage of the Weeks Act authorizes acquisition of lands on watersheds to protect stream navigability, enables US Department of Agriculture to cooperate with states in forest fire prevention (leading to establishment of numerous state forest
1913 Texas Legislation, Agencies, Water Texas Legislature creates the Board of Water Engineers to monitor and regulate water development
1913 Texas Legislation, Water Texas passes the General Irrigation Act of 1913, making it illegal to take water from a public stream without first having a permit from the Board of Water Engineers
1914 International Wildlife Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon, a species that had once numbered approximately 5 billion, but had been damaged beyond rebound by commercial meat hunting
1914 International Wildlife Death of last specimen of the Carolina Parakeet, whose decline was due to the millinery and captive bird trade
1914 Texas Non-Profit Groups, Forests Texas Forestry Association created with a charge to lobby for a state forestry agency
1914 Texas Water, Dredging, Canal, Technology Dredging of the 50-mile long Houston Ship Channel is completed and opened for navigation
1915 Texas Legislation, Agencies, Forests Texas Department of Forestry (renamed Texas Forest Service in 1926) established by the Legislature
1915 Texas Water, Estuary Texas City dike constructed, trapping nutrients and sediments and raising the salinity of Galveston's West Bay
1915 United States of America Wildlife, Legislation, Agencies Predator and Rodent Control agency created within USDA to carry out strychnine poisoning of wolves, foxes, coyotes, bears, mountain lions, eagles, and other animals on western public domain lands
1916 International Technology From 1908 to 1916, due to mass-production techniques, Ford Model T assembly times decline from 14 hours to 93 minutes and retail costs drop from $1000 to $360 , enabling the broad American public to begin buying cars and adopt an auto culture
1916 Texas Legislation, Water Texas Constitution amended to authorize creation of river authorities and water conservation districts to help rationalize administration of water use, and to augment bonding power for irrigation and flood control projects
1916 United States of America Dams The 36,500-acre, 227,000 acre-foot Elephant Butte Reservoir is completed on the Rio Grande near Truth or Consequences, in southwestern New Mexico
1916 United States of America Parks Creation of the National Park Service
1916 United States of America Population Margaret Sanger opens first birth control clinic
1917 Texas Legislation, Water Texas adopts the Texas Water Code, providing for termination of riparian water rights in cases where water was not put to a beneficial use within 3 years, and giving the Board of Water Engineers the power to adjudicate water rights and appoint water maste
1917 Texas Water, Wildlife, Legislation Conservation Amendment to the Texas Constitution is adopted, declaring that conservation of all natural resources of the state are public rights
1917 Texas, United States, International Energy Texas Railroad Commission given power to regulate oil pipelines as common carriers, like railroads, and empowered to prevent waste of oil and gas
1918 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Agreement between US government and southern coastal state, including Texas, temporarily suspends game, fish and oyster laws as a wartime measure, reimposed in 1919 after Texas protest
1918 United States of America Wildlife, Legislation President Woodrow Wilson signs the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, joining with Canada to protect birds
1919 United States of America Parks National Parks and Conservation Association founded
1921 Texas Energy The Gulf-Burnet No.2 well produces the first Panhandle oil and encourages further exploration
1921 United States of America Air Pollution, Technology Tetraethyl lead is added to gasoline as an octane booster
1922 International Wildlife Killing of last recorded Monk Seal, a subtropical marine mammal native to the West Indies, lost to hunting pressure from fishermen who saw them as competitors
1922 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Izaak Walton League founded
1923 Texas Chemicals, Energy, Pollution Construction of a carbon black plant in Stephens County signals creation of the Texas petrochemical industry
1923 Texas Non-Profit Groups Formation of the Outdoor Nature Club in Houston
1923 Texas Parks, Legislation, Agencies Texas State Parks Board is created by the Legislature and empowered to solicit donations of tracts of land for the "purpose of public parks" and to investigate and locate tracts suitable for use as state parks
1923 Texas Parks, Non-Profit Groups Texas State Parks Association organizes for "encouraging and assisting in the establishment of a systems of State parks", and proposes parks in the Davis Mountains, Palo Duro Canyon, Frio Canyon, Junction, Bosque County, Rabb's Palm Grove in Brownsville,
1923 Texas Wildlife, Legislation Texas Legislature approves Game, Fish and Oyster Commission to make full use of license and fee revenue, formerly diverted to the General Fund, doubling the Commission's disbursements, and allowing it to hire 50 additional game wardens
1924 Texas Wildlife, Education Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commission uses movies of native wildlife to promote conservation
1924 United States of America Legislation, Forestry Clarke-McNary Bill supercedes Weeks Act of 1911, and promotes reforestation by distributing seedlings and advice to private woodlot owners
1924 United States of America Wildlife, Legislation, Parks Congress establishes the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge to manage waterfowl and fish, making it the first refuge open to hunting
1925 Texas Wildife, Legislation Texas Legislature approves a game preserve act empowering the Game Fish and Oyster Commission to lease land from private landowners to create sanctuaries where hunting would be restricted and populations could recover
1925 United States of America Transportation Howard Johnson's roadside inns founded, leading to the "rocket diners" of the 1930s, which led to McDonalds and the fast food beef culture of the 1950s and later
1926 International Technology Invention of the hand-held, mobile gasoline-powered chain saw by Andreas Stihl, extends the speed and extent of low-cost logging
1926 Texas Rulings, Water Boyd v. Motyl Heirs ruling asserts that state of Texas has control over storm and flood waters, and that Board of Water Engineers has authority to make appropriations for water projects
1926 Texas Water, Navigation, Dredging Dredging of the Corpus Christi ship canal is completed, providing a port for ocean-going vessels
1927 International Population World human population grows to 2 billion
1927 Texas Wildlife, Legislation, Agencies Texas Office of Game, Fish and Oyster Commissioner receives legal authority to prosecute violators of pollution statutes
1928 United States, International Agriculture  
1929 Texas Legislation, Water, Agencies Texas Legislature authorizes creation of the Brazos River Conservation and Reclamation District, the first of the major river authorities that were organized for irrigation, flood control, and hydroelectricity development
1929 United States of America Wildlife, Legislation Congress passes the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, authorizing the purchase of wetlands for waterfowl feeding and nesting habitat
1930 Texas Energy H.L. Hunt's Daisy Bradford #3 well in Kilgore taps into the huge East Texas oil field
1930 Texas Forests Angelina County Lumber Company plants 200,000 seedlings, one of the first examples of reforestation in the state
1930 Texas Wildlife First importation of exotic game from foreign lands to Texas begins with release of nilgai antelope on King Ranch
1930 Texas Wildlife Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commission launches predator control effort aimed at "any animal that is known to do more harm than good" and including wolves, coyotes, jaguars, mountain lions, foxes and eagles
1931 Texas, United States, International Energy Texas Railroad Commission begins making monthly production allowance announcements, dictating what percentage of maximum production Texas wells could pump, helping control supply and price worldwide until the 1960s, when Middle Eastern production and OPEC grew more important
1932 International Wildlife Extinction of the Heath Hen, a small wild fowl native to the eastern United States, lost to hunting pressure, and later, fire, predation and starvation on a small remaining sanctuary on Martha's Vineyard
1932 Texas Forests Texas timber yield falls to 350 million board feet, the lowest since 1880, and 15% of the 1907 peak
1932 Texas Parks Texas makes its first purchases of land for state parks in the acquisition of Longhorn Cavern and Palo Duro Canyon
1933 Texas Forests, Parks, Agencies Civilian Conservation Corps organizes 12 camps in East Texas to work on tree planting, fire protection, trail building, and other projects
1933 Texas Legislation, Water, Agencies Creation of the Lower Neches River Authority
1933 Texas Legislation, Water, Agencies Creation of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority
1933 Texas Parks Texas Legislature creates Texas Canyons State Park on fifteen sections of land in the vicinity of Santa Elena, Mariscal, and Boquillas canyons on the Rio Grande in southern Brewster County, later to be expanded by the federal government and renamed Big B
1933 United States of America Agencies Soil Erosion Service, later known as the Soil Conservation Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, created.
1934 International Wildlife First Migratory Bird hunting stamp issued
1934 United States of America Agriculture A storm blows Dust Bowl dirt from Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as far east as New York City and Washington, D.C., giving the Midwest's soil erosion national attention
1934 United States of America Legislation Taylor Grazing Act passed, enabling US Department of the Interior to regulate grazing on public lands in the West
1935 International Technology Invention of the one-person combine, which contributed to the horse-poor, banker-dominated rural economy
1935 Texas Energy Conoco, Texaco, Shell and others bring in oil and gas wells that develop the Permian Basin oil field
1935 Texas Legislation, Water, Agencies Texas creates the Texas Planning Board to build a coordinated state-wide plan for conservation and use of water
1935 Texas Legislation, Water, Agencies Creation of the Lower Colorado River Authority
1935 Texas Legislation, Water, Agencies Creation of the Upper Colorado River Authority
1935 Texas Legislation, Water, Agencies Creation of the Nueces River Authority
1935 Texas Parks Federal acquisition of Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, Angelina and Sabine National Forests is begun.
1935 United States of America Dams Final concrete poured for the Hoover Dam, leading to the oasis culture of the U.S. West
1935 United States of America Parks, Non-Profit Groups Wilderness Society founded
1936 International Wildlife Death of last captive Tasmanian Tiger-wolf, a carnivorous marsupial native to Australia, due to bounty-hunting by sheep raisers, and by competition with the introduced wild dog, the dingo
1936 Texas Forests, Parks H.B. Parks and V.L. Cory write the Biological Survey of the East Texas Big Thicket Area, among the first organized efforts to protect the Thicket, then estimated at 1 million acres in size
1936 Texas Water Army Corps of Engineers begins stream surveys in Texas for possible flood control projects
1936 United States of America Legislation, Water Congress passes the Flood Control Act of 1936 granting the Army Corps of Engineers responsibility for flood control on navigable waters
1936 United States of America Non-Profit Groups National Wildlife Federation founded
1937 Texas Forests Construction of a pulpwood plant in Houston leads to commercial use of wood for Kraft pulp in container board, wrapping, and magazines
1937 Texas Legislation, Water, Agencies Creation of the San Antonio River Authority
1937 Texas Legislation, Water, Agencies Creation of the San Jacinto River Authority
1937 Texas, United States of America, International Wildlife, Parks Aransas National Wildlife Refuge established to protect the wintering grounds of the endangered whooping crane
1937 United States of America Non-Profit Groups, Wildlife Ducks Unlimited established
1937 United States of America Technology First sanitary landfill, utilizing trench disposal, compaction and layering constructed (Fresno, California)
1938 International Technology Introduction of nylon by DuPont, signalling the rise of the petrochemical-based synthetics industry
1938 Texas Non-Profit Groups Founding of Texas Federation of Nature Clubs
1938 Texas Water, Agencies Army Corps of Engineers begins construction of the Denison dam, impounding the 89,000-acre Lake Texoma on the Red River, its first major project in Texas
1939 International Technology DDT invented
1939 Texas Forests First commercial use of southern pine for newsprint production, contributing both to the pressure for reforestation and the replacement of diverse forests by pine plantations
1939 Texas Forests, Parks National Park Service surveys the Big Thicket and recommends inclusion of 400,000 acres in the National Park System, a proposal cut short by the outbreak of WWII
1939 Texas Legislation, Water, Agencies Creation of the Upper Guadalupe River Authority
1939 Texas, United States of America Water, Legislation Rio Grande Compact, which dictates how Texas, Colorado and New Mexico shall share the river, is ratified by the Texas Legislature
1939 United States of America Information, Science, Marine Biology Publication of Between Pacific Tides by Edward Ricketts (known as "Doc" in Steinbeck's Cannery Row)
1941 Texas Dams Mansfield Dam completed on the Colorado River, creating Lake Travis in central Texas
1942 International Technology First atomic reactor reaches criticality
1942 International Wildlife Disappearance of Texas Grey Wolf due to predator control efforts
1942 Texas Information, Periodicals Publication of first issue of Texas Game and Fish by the Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commission
1943 Texas Wildlife First escaped nutria, a South American furbearing rodent charged with wetland erosion and fragmentation, are documented in Texas
1944 Texas Dams The 89,000-acre, 1,321,000 acre-foot Lake Texoma is completed on the Red River in northeast Texas, near Denison
1944 Texas Forests Texas Forestry Association, Texas Forest Service, East Texas Chamber of Commerce, Southern Pine Association, and American Forest Products create the Texas Tree Farm System to promote commercial reforestation and silviculture
1944 Texas Parks Big Bend National Park created, with 708,000 acres within its boundaries
1944 Texas Water, Non-Profit Groups Texas Water Conservation Association organized
1944 Texas, United States of America, International Water, Legislation Rio Grande Treaty is signed, allocating water between the U.S. and Mexico below Fort Quitman
1945 Texas Health, Water Legislature authorizes the Texas Department of Health to enforce drinking water standards for public water supply systems
1945 Texas Water Texas State Board of Water Engineers reports appreciable declines in the water table in parts of the High Plains where irrigators had pumped significant volumes of groundwater, indicating that the aquifer was limited
1945 United States of America Information, Literature Publication of Pleasant Valley, by Louis Bromfield, regarding agricultural land restoration
1946 International Wildlife Creation of International Whaling Commission to manage annual catch
1947 International Pollution, Water, Technology George M. Schroder invents the first nonwoven-fabric diaper, precursor to the disposable diaper
1947 Texas Information, Literature Adventures with a Texas Naturalist, by Roy Bedichek, is published
1947 Texas Pollution A cargo of ammonium nitrate fertilizer aboard the Grand Camp freighter explodes in Texas City, killing over 600
1947 Texas Water, Legislation, Agencies Creation of the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority
1947 United States of America Land Use The first Levittown is developed: by the end of its construction in 1951 it is the largest planned community built by a single developer to date, and ushers in a pattern of low-density, suburban development
1947 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Defenders of Wildlife founded
1948 Texas Parks Texas Game and Oyster Commission purchases original 54,000 acres of Black Gap Wildlife Management Area
1948 United States of America Pollution 20 asphyxiated, 7000 hospitalized in smog incident in the zinc-smelting community of Donora, Pennsylvania
1949 Texas Legislation, Water, Agencies State Legislature passes the Underground Water District Act, autorizing the creation of such districts on the approval of local voters
1949 Texas Water, Legislation State legislation declares that groundwater is private property
1949 Texas Water, Legislation, Agencies Creation of the Sabine River Authority
1949 Texas, United States of America Water, Navigation, Dredging, Canal Gulf Intracoastal Waterway's dredging is completed and the canal is opened to navigation from Brownsville, Texas to Carrabelle, Florida
1949 United States of America Information, Literature A Sand County Almanac (Aldo Leopold) published
1951 Texas Dams Steinhagen Reservoir completed on the Neches River in east Texas
1951 Texas Rulings Texas Supreme Court, in J.W. Luttes et al. Vs. The State of Texas, extends the boundary line of beachfront private property from the vegetation line to the line of mean high tide
1951 Texas Water, Agencies Local voters approve the High Plains Water Conservation District, No.1, the first groundwater district in the state
1951 Texas Wildlife, Non-Profit Groups Formation of the Texas Ornithological Society
1951 United States of America Non-Profit Groups The Nature Conservancy founded
1952 Texas Air, Health, Agencies Texas Department of Health conducts its first study of air pollution in the state
1953 Texas Dams Falcon Dam completed on the Rio Grande, in south Texas near Zapata
1953 Texas Health, Water, Agencies Legislature creates the Texas Water Pollution Control Advisory Council, in the Department of Health, as the first state body charged with dealing with pollution related issues
1955 Texas Rulings, Water In City of Corpus Christi v. City of Pleasanton case, Texas Supreme Court rules that groundwater withdrawals and uses cannot be restricted by waste, even where 70% of the delivered water is lost, and notes that its policy is not to intervene in groundwate
1955 Texas Water, Estuary Texas Game and Fish Commission dredges a channel across Rollover Pass to improve fishing, releasing salt water to Galveston's East Bay, killing major seagrass stands
1955 Texas Water, Legislation, Agencies Creation of the Trinity River Authority
1955 Texas Wildlife, Non-Profit Groups Organization of the Sportsmen's Clubs of Texas, representing most of the major conservation, hunting, and fishing groups in the state, and claiming to speak for 70,000 members
1955 United States of America Legislation Clean Air Act passed
1956 International Technology Malcolm McLean invents and ships the standardized SeaLand 8' x 8' x 35' shipping container, improving the efficiency of global trade and furthering pressures for globalization.
1956 Texas Air, Health, Agencies Texas Department of Health performs its first air sampling in the state
1956 Texas Water The 7th year of severe state-wide drought (though ended in this year with wide-spread flood) gives impetus for dam construction throughout Texas in the ensuing two decades
1956 Texas, United States Energy M. King Hubbert, a Shell petroleum geologist, predicts a 1966-72 peak, and subsequent decline, in petroleum production within the lower 48 states, which in fact does occur in 1970
1956 United States of America Legislation Federal Highway Act passed, leading to the construction of the Interstate Highway system, enabling the suburban development of the country
1957 Texas Dams The 18,700-acre, 239,000 acre-foot Lake of the Pines is completed in northeast Texas, near Longview, on Big Cypress Creek, a tributary of the Red River.
1957 Texas Dams The 20,300-acre, 111,000 acre-foot Wright Patman Reservoir is completed on the Sulphur River in northeast Texas, near Texarkana.
1957 Texas Water, Legislation Texas Water Planning Act is enacted in response to severe statewide drought of 1950-56
1958 United States of America Water, Dams Senator Lyndon B. Johnson introduces a bill creating the United States Study Commission "to formulate a basic comprehensive plan of development" for the Neches, Trinity, Brazos, Colorado, Guadalupe, San Antonio, Nueces, and San Jacinto river basins
1959 Texas Coast, Non-Profit Groups Formation of Texas Beaches Unlimited to lobby for public access to the Texas coast
1959 Texas Dams, Information Publication of Goodbye to a River by John Graves
1959 Texas Legislation Texas Legislature passes the Open Beaches Act, overruling the 1951 decision, J.W. Luttes et al v. The State of Texas, and creating a national model for ensuring public access to the shore
1959 Texas Non-Profit Groups Incorporation of Texas Conservation Council as a non-profit lobbying group
1959 Texas Non-Profit Groups Founding of the Texas chapter of the Nature Conservancy
1959 Texas Water, Legislation, Agencies Creation of the Red River Authority
1960 International Population World population is 3 billion
1960 International Population, Technology Enovid, the first oral contraceptive, invented by Frank Colton and introduced by G.D. Searle and Company
1960 United States of America Legislation Clean Water Act enacted
1961 International Non-Profit Groups World Wildlife Fund founded
1961 Texas Water, Agencies Creation of the Texas Water Pollution Control Board
1961 Texas Water, Pollution, Agencies Legislature passes the Injection Well Act, authorizing the Texas Board of Water Engineers to regulate waste disposal (other than that from the oil and gas industry) into the subsurface
1961 Texas Water, Pollution, Wildlife Colorado River experiences a massive pesticide-related fish kill extending 140 miles from Austin to Matagorda Bay
1962 United States of America Information Silent Spring (Rachel Carson) published
1962 United States of America Legislation President J.F. Kennedy authorizes creation of the 80.5-mile Padre Island National Seashore
1963 Texas Parks, Coast, Legislation Deeding of 93,243 acres of state-owned submerged lands to the Padre Island National Seashore
1963 Texas Wildlife First exotic wildlife census by the state indicates that 13,000 individuals from 13 non-native species are present in Texas
1963 Texas Wildlife, Parks, Non-Profit Groups Merger of Texas Parks Board and Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commission creates the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
1963 United States of America Legislation Clean Air Act amended
1963 United States of America Treaty Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty ratified
1964 Texas Forests, Parks, Non-Profit Groups Organization of the Big Thicket Association to press for protection of this area in southeast Texas
1964 United States of America Parks President Lyndon Johnson signs the Wilderness Act, providing wilderness area designation within wildlife refuges, national parks, and other public lands
1965 International Wildlife Last observation of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, whose decline was associated with the lumbering of southeastern US forests
1965 Texas Air, Health, Agencies Texas Clean Air Act establishes the Texas Air Control Board, in the Department of Health, to monitor and regulate air pollution in the state
1965 Texas Dams Sam Rayburn Reservoir completed on the Neches River in east Texas
1965 Texas Water, Dams Congressman George Mahon of Lubbock requests the Bureau of Reclamation to investigate the feasibility of a coastal canal project to divert surplus water from southeastern Texas to the Rio Grande Valley
1965 United States of America Energy Northeast U.S. blackout
1965 United States of America Legislation Water Quality Act enacted
1965 United States of America Legislation Clean Air Act amended
1965 United States of America Legislation Solid Waste Disposal Act enacted
1966 International Information First Lunar Orbiter photo of Earth
1966 Texas Flood control, Non-Profit Groups Organization of the Buffalo Bayou Preservation Association to fight flood-control related dredging of Buffalo Bayou in Houston
1966 Texas Parks Establishment of 150-square mile Guadalupe Mountains National Park
1966 Texas Parks, Legislation Texas adopts the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, enabling it to receive funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund for park planning, acquisition and development
1966 Texas Water, Dams Texas Water Development Board incorporates the Bureau of Reclamation's 1965 proposal for a coastal canal, and adds a proposal for importing water through northeast Texas, across the High Plains into eastern New Mexico, and into the Lower Rio Grande Valley
1966 United States of America Transportation Unsafe At Any Speed (Ralph Nader) published
1966 United States of America Wildlife, Legislation Congress passes the Endangered Species Preservation Act, creating a listing of endangered species, limited protection strategies, and authorization for habitat acquisition to protected listed species
1967 International Energy Torrey Canyon 117,000-ton North Sea oil spill
1967 Texas Air, Pollution, Agencies Texas Air Control Board adopts first air quality regulations
1967 Texas Flood control, Non-Profit Groups Channelization of Buffalo Bayou is blocked by Congress, through advocacy by the Buffalo Bayou Protection Association
1967 Texas Information Justice William O. Douglas writes Farewell to Texas: A Vanishing Wilderness
1967 Texas Water, Pollution, Agencies Texas Water Pollution Control Board replaced by the Texas Water Quality Board with increased funding and staff, but no laboratory facilities, hampering prosecutions
1967 Texas Water, Supply, Legislation Texas Water Rights Adjudication Act requires registration of all unrecorded surface water rights, limiting claims to actual use
1967 Texas, United States of America Water, Pollution, Legislation Water Quality Standards adopted under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and the Texas Water Quality Act
1967 United States of America Agriculture Alan Chadwick starts the Student Garden Project at the University of California - Santa Cruz, introducing French Intensive and Biodynamic gardening ideas, and contributing to the teaching and spread of modern organic agriculture
1967 United States of America Legislation Clean Air Act amended
1967 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Environmental Defense Fund founded
1967 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Fund For Animals founded
1967 United States of America Transportation 100 million cars on U.S. roads
1968 International Information United Nations Biosphere Conference meets
1968 International Population The Population Bomb (Paul Ehrlich) published
1968 Texas Dams Lake Livingston completed on the Trinity River in southeast Texas
1968 Texas Water, Supply, Dams, Legislation First Texas State Water Plan is adopted, with a recommendation for moving water from the Mississippi River to Texas
1968 United States of America Dams, Water Grand Canyon dam proposal stopped due to public opposition
1968 United States of America Information Publication of Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey
1968 United States of America Parks National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act enacted
1968 United States of America Parks National Trails Act enacted
1968 United States of America Population, Non-Profit Groups Zero Population Growth founded
1969 International Technology, Transportation, Atmosphere First SST flight
1969 Texas Dams Toledo Bend Reservoir completed on the Sabine River in southeast Texas
1969 Texas Dams Amistad Reservoir completed on the Rio Grande, near Del Rio, in south Texas
1969 Texas Dams Texas voters narrowly reject a $3.6 billion bond package intended to fund the '68 Texas Water Plan's delivery of water across northeast Texas to the High Plains and eastern New Mexico, as well as to the Lower Rio Grande Valley
1969 Texas Parks, Legislation, Non-Profit Groups Legislature creates the Texas Conservation Foundation to act as trustee for gifts of land, cash or historic sites
1969 United States of America Energy Santa Barbara oil spill
1969 United States of America Health Cyclamates banned
1969 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Friends of the Earth founded
1969 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Union of Concerned Scientists founded
1969 United States of America Water Pollution Cuyahoga River ignites
1970 International Wildlife Extinction of the blue pike, a fish endemic to the Great Lakes, due to overharvesting, marsh draining, dam building, and predation or competition from several non-native species, including sea lamprey, alewife, and rainbow smelt
1970 Texas Energy Texas Railroad Commission, recognizing decline of the state's oilfield production, approves unlimited pumping
1970 Texas Non-Profit Groups Formation of the Citizens' Environmental Coalition in Houston
1970 United States of America Agencies Environmental Protection Agency founded
1970 United States of America Information Only One Earth (Barbara Ward, Rene Dubos) published
1970 United States of America Information Look magazine promotes the Ecology Flag on the second Earth Day
1970 United States of America Legislation Occupational Safety and Health Act enacted
1970 United States of America Legislation Clean Air Act amended
1970 United States of America Non-Profit Groups First Earth Day
1970 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Center for Science in the Public Interest founded
1970 United States of America Non-Profit Groups League of Conservation Voters founded
1970 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Public Interest Research Groups founded
1970 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Environmental Action founded
1970 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Natural Resources Defense Council founded
1970 United States of America Wildlife Disappearance of last wild Red Wolf, once native to Oklahoma and Texas, possibly lost due to interbreeding with Coyote
1971 Texas Air, Pollution, Agencies Texas Air Control Board issues first air pollution permits
1971 Texas Non-Profit Groups Organization of the Texas Environmental Coalition
1971 United States of America Health Cigarette ads banned from TV
1971 United States of America Information Publication of The Closing Circle by Barry Commoner
1971 United States of America Information, Pollution "Crying Indian" public service television ad aired by Keep America Beautiful
1971 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Public Citizen founded
1971 United States of America Technology, Weapons U.S. explodes hydrogen bomb on Amchitka Island
1972 International Agencies UN Environmental Programme founded
1972 International Information Researchers find 3/4 of acid rain in Sweden caused by long-range pollution from other countries
1972 Texas Energy Texas oil production peaks at 1.3 billion barrels per year
1972 Texas Legislation, Parks, Agencies Legislature authorizes the Dedicated Park Fund, allocating a distinct and reliable stream of funding for state and metropolitan parks
1972 United States of America Information Limits to Growth (Meadows) published by Club of Rome
1972 United States of America Legislation Water Pollution Control Act enacted
1972 United States of America Legislation Marine Mammal Protection Act enacted
1972 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Trust for Public Land founded
1973 International Energy OPEC oil embargo
1973 International Non-Profit Groups Cousteau Society founded
1973 International Technology Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer, invent the technique of DNA cloning, which allowed genes to be transplanted between different biological species and signaled the birth of genetic engineering
1973 International Treaty Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) enacted
1973 International Wildlife Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) limits trade in 5000 animal species and 25,000 plant species
1973 United States of America Health EPA issues first reduction in gasoline lead content, leading to a total phase-out of use of leaded fuel in on-road American vehicles by 1996.
1973 United States of America Health DDT banned for use in the United States, though use in other areas, particularly tropical zones for malaria control, persists.
1973 United States of America Information Small is Beautiful (Schumacher) published
1973 United States of America Population, Health U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade legalizes abortion
1973 United States of America Wildlife, Legislation Endangered Species Act enacted, strengthening the 1966 D124
1974 International Atmosphere CFC danger to ozone reported
1974 International Population World population at 4 billion
1974 Texas Parks Congress authorizes acquisition of 84,550 acres of the Big Thicket, the first Preserve approved for biological reasons in the National Park System
1974 Texas, United States Forests, Parks President Ford signs legislation creating the Big Thicket National Preserve, the first tract in the National Park System acquired chiefly for biological reasons, later to consist of 97,000 acres of protected public land
1974 United States of America Energy Karen Silkwood, a plutonium worker, dies in a suspicious car accident, perhaps related to her accusations of poor industry safety practices
1974 United States of America Information Publication of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
1974 United States of America Legislation Safe Drinking Water Act enacted
1974 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Environmental Policy Institute founded
1975 International Non-Profit Groups Worldwatch Institute founded
1975 International Population Global fertility rate from 1970 to 1975 is 4.5
1975 Texas Water, Supply, Estuary Texas Water Development Board directed to study relationships between freshwater inflows and biological productivity of Texas bays and estuaries
1975 United States of America Legislation, Energy Congress passes the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, creating the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for US vehicles
1976 Texas Information Texas Wild, by Rihard Phelan, is published
1976 Texas Wildlife Following restocking with eastern wild turkeys, the first legal turkey hunting season in Texas is opened in more than a half-century
1976 United States of America Atmosphere National Academy of Sciences states opposition to aerosols
1976 United States of America Energy Seabrook anti-nuclear demonstrations
1976 United States of America Legislation Toxic Substances Control Act enacted
1976 United States of America Legislation Resource Conservation and Recovery Act enacted
1976 United States of America Legislation Fishery Conservation Act enacted
1976 United States of America Legislation Federal Land Policy and Management Act enacted
1976 United States of America Legislation National Forest Management Act enacted
1977 International Energy North Sea oil spill
1977 United States of America Energy New York City blackout
1977 United States of America Legislation Clean Air Act amended
1977 United States of America Legislation Clean Water Act amended
1977 United States of America Legislation Ocean Dumping Act amended
1977 United States of America Military U.S. admits neutron bomb testing
1977 United States of America Rulings, Water, Dam US Supreme Court upholds Endangered Species Act to stop construction of the Tellico Dam, protecting the endemic snail darter
1978 International Energy Amoco Cadiz oil spill off France (70 million gallons)
1978 International Population, Technology First test-tube baby
1978 Texas Parks, Non-Profit Groups Nature Conservancy of Texas purchases Enchanted Rock, selling it in turn to Texas when the state receives matching money from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund
1978 Texas Rulings, Water Texas Supreme Court rules in Friendswood Development Co. v. Smith-Southwest Industries that a landowner is liable for the subsidence on another's land caused by the negligent withdrawal of groundwater, creating an exception to the absolute rule of capture
1978 United States of America Health Love Canal contamination reported
1978 United States of America Health Lead paint banned in the U.S.
1978 United States of America Information Politics of Cancer (Epstein) published
1978 United States of America Parks U.S. Congress designates 191-mile segment of the Rio Grande, 61 of which form the southern boundary of Big Bend National Park, as a Wild and Scenic River
1979 International Atmosphere Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution enacted
1979 International Pollution Exploratory offshore oil rig Ixtoc 1 blows out, releasing 140 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico
1979 International Population World population at 5 billion
1979 Texas Pollution 2.6 million gallons of oil released in Burmah Agate collision with the freighter Mimosa southeast of Galveston entrance to the Gulf
1979 United States of America Energy Three Mile Island nuclear accident
1980 Texas Dams The 27,690-acre, 604,000 acre-foot Lake Fork reservoir is completed on a tributary of the Sabine River in northeast Texas, near Quitman
1980 United States of America Agriculture, Parks Western public-land users (livestock grazing, timbering, mining, and gas/oil development) and hunters launch the Sagebrush Rebellion, demanding that federal lands be turned over to the states
1980 United States of America Information Global 2000 Report to President Carter
1980 United States of America Legislation Low Level Radioactive Waste Act enacted
1980 United States of America Legislation Superfund Act enacted
1980 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Earth First founded
1980 United States of America Parks, Legislation Congress passes the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, adding 54 million acres to the U.S. refuge system, nearly tripling its acreage
1981 Texas Legislation, Water Voters reject a proposed Texas constitutional amendment setting aside one-half of the state's surplus revenues for a permanent water fund
1981 Texas Pollution, Energy Legislature creates the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority, charged with siting, operating and decommissioning a disposal facility for commercial low-level radioactive waste (generally, all types other than military and reactor core wast
1981 Texas, United States, International Forests, Parks, Wildlife Big Thicket National Preserve is designated an International Biological Preserve by UNESCO as recognition of its ecological diversity and richness
1981 United States of America Non-Profit Groups Citizens' Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes founded
1982 International Oceans Law of the Sea creates framework for ocean use and protection
1982 Texas Dams The 26,000-acre, 695,000 acre-foot Choke Canyon reservoir is completed on the lower Nueces River, in central Texas near Three Rivers.
1982 United States of America Agencies EPA scandal
1983 United States of America Health Times Beach, Missouri abandoned
1983 United States of America Information US EPA and US National Academy of Sciences report that build-up of carbon dioxide will lead to global warming
1984 International Health 10,000 die in Bhopal chemical plant disaster, India
1984 Texas Parks, Forests Five wilderness areas in east Texas (Big Slough, Indian Mounds, Little Lake Creek, Turkey Hill and Upland Island) totalling 37,000 acres are designated
1984 Texas Wildlife Texas Parks and Wildlife Department survey reports that 75 non-native species of foreign big game, including 120,000 individuals, are found in Texas
1984 United States of America Non-Profit Groups National Toxics Campaign founded
1985 International Atmosphere Antarctic ozone hole discovered
1985 International Non-Profit Groups Rainforest Action Network founded
1985 International Non-Profit Groups Rainbow Warrior blown up in New Zealand
1986 International Energy Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion, Ukraine
1986 International Wildlife International Whaling Commission imposes moratorium on commercial whaling worldwide
1986 United States of America Legislation Superfund Act amended
1986 United States of America Legislation Safe Drinking Water Act amended
1986 United States of America Legislation, Pollution Radon and Indoor Air Research Act passed by Congress
1987 International Atmosphere Montreal CFC Protocol ratified
1987 International Information World Commission on Environment and Development prints Our Common Future
1987 International Parks First debt-for-nature swap
1987 International Population Global human population hits 5 billion
1987 International Treaty Basel Convention controls international movement of hazardous wastes
1987 International Wildlife Extinction of the Dusky Seaside Sparrow, a wetland bird native to Florida lost to marsh destruction
1987 Texas Water, Supply, Estuary, Legislation Texas Water Development Board and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department directed to jointly study effects of freshwater inflows on coastal bays and estuaries
1987 United States of America Legislation National Appliance Energy Conservation Act
1987 United States of America Legislation Clean Water Act amended
1988 International Forests Brazilian rubber tapper and environmental leader, Chico Mendes murdered
1988 International Technology The first patent for a genetically engineered animal is issued to Harvard University researchers Philip Leder and Timothy Stewart
1988 Texas Energy The South Texas Project's Unit 1, a 1251 Mwe pressurized water reactor, comes on line near Bay City
1988 Texas Energy The South Texas Project's Unit 2, a 1251 Mwe pressurized water reactor, comes on line near Bay City
1988 Texas Forests Texas Committee on Natural Resources, Sierra Club and Wilderness Society obtain injunction against Forest Service, banning clearcutting on 200,000 acres of national forests in Texas to protect the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker
1988 United States of America Information Biodiversity (E.O. Wilson) published
1988 United States of America Non-Profit Groups EDF-McDonald's solid waste agreement
1989 International Energy Valdez Principles, Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES)
1989 United States of America Energy Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaska (11 million gallons)
1989 United States of America Information Earth as "Planet of the Year" (Time Magazine)
1990 International Wildlife Dolphin-safe tuna agreement
1990 Texas Energy Comanche Peak's Unit 1, an 1150 Mwe pressurized water reactor, comes on line near Glen Rose
1990 Texas Pollution Pump room explosion and fire aboard the Mega Borg releases 5.1 million gallons of oil some 60 nautical miles south-southeast of Galveston
1990 United States of America Legislation Coastal Zone Management Act amended
1990 United States of America Legislation Clean Air Act amended
1991 International Energy Retreating Iraqi army sabotages tankers, oil terminals and wells releasing 1.25 million tons of oil, the worst spill to date
1991 International Energy, Atmosphere, Global warming The first shareholder resolution on global warming is filed
1992 International Atmosphere Record high ozone destroying chemicals detected in Northern Hemisphere
1992 International Information Union of Concerned Scientists releases World Scientists' Warning to Humanity, a report from 1575 scientists in 69 nations
1992 International Military Earth Summit conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1992 International Population World population at 5.5 billion
1992 Texas Non-profit Groups Environmental Fund for Texas (later renamed Earth Share of Texas) is created, providing a workplace fundraising campaign for Texas environmental non-profits
1992 United States of America Information Earth in the Balance (Al Gore) published
1993 Texas Energy Comanche Peak's Unit 2, an 1150 Mwe pressurized water reactor, comes on line near Glen Rose
1993 Texas Pollution Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission created, for the first time merging Texas air, water, and solid waste regulatory programs
1993 United States of America Natural Hazards Mississippi River at flood stage for 144 days, submerging 17,000 square miles in 9 states, and calling into question question traditional structural flood control strategies
1994 International Atmosphere 133 nations have signed the Montreal CFC Protocol
1994 International Population Conference on Population and Development convenes in Cairo
1994 International Wildlife Bald Eagle taken off endangered species list
1994 International Wildlife World Conservation Union publishes revised Red List of 11,000 threatened or endangered species
1994 United States, International Agriculture, Genetic Engineering  
1995 International Atmosphere Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that "balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate"
1995 International Energy Ken Zaro-Wiwa hung in Nigeria for opposition to oil development by international corporations
1995 International Population Global fertility rate from 1990 to 1995 is 3.1, a 31% decline from the 1970-75 period
1995 Texas Information Texas Center for Policy Studies publishes the Texas Environmental Almanac
1996 Texas Rulings, Water Texas Supreme Court reaffirms rule of capture, while upholding expanded powers of underground water districts, in Barshop v. Medina County Underground Water Conservation District
1996 United States of America Information Our Stolen Future (Colborn, Myers, Dumanoski), regarding hormone disruption, is published
1997 International Forests Forest fires burn 5 million hectares globally, destroying a record area in tropical forests
1997 Texas Water, Legislation Legislature adopts Senate Bill 1, mandating development of 50-year regional water plans that protect agricultural and natural resources
1997 Texas Water, Supply, Legislation Consensus-based Texas Water Plan is released, representing first state water plan to include recommendations addressing environmental concerns
1998 International Atmosphere Ozone hole over Antarctica grows to 25 million square kilometers, exceeding the previous 1993 record of 3 million square kilometers
1999 International Population Global human population grows to 6 billion
1999 International Treaty Protests in Seattle hinder World Trade Organization meetings, and highlight social and environmental shortcomings of WTO
1999 Texas Rulings, Water Texas Supreme Court again affirms the rule of capture for groundwater in Sipriano et al v. Ozarka Natural Spring Water, et al
1999 United States of America Forests Julia Butterfly Hill descends from 180-foot California Coast Redwood following 2-year stay and conclusion of plan to protect the Pacific Lumber / Maxxam forest
2000 International Agriculture Biosafety Protocol implements more precautionary approach to trading genetically modified crops and other organisms
2000 International Treaty Treaty on Persistent Organic Pollutants promulgated, requiring phaseout of some toxic chemicals and limits on use of others
2000 Texas Water, Supply, Estuary San Marcos River Foundation applies for surface water right of 1.15 million acre-feet per year from the Guadalupe River to protect freshwater inflows to San Antonio Bay
2000 United States of America Population Mifepristone (RU 486), receives final approval from the FDA for use in the United States
2001 International Atmosphere The IPCC reports "new and stronger evidence that most of the observed warming on the last 50 years is attributable to human activities", predicting that global temperatures will rise by 1.4 to 5.8 degrees Celsius by 2100.
2001 International Information Human Genome Project finds that human gene count is 30,000, about that of a weed or mouse, much less than the 100,000 expected
2001 Texas Forests International Paper announces plans to sell 800,000 acres of forestland in east Texas, as part of an industry move to lower debt and property taxes, and take advantage of higher land values
2001 Texas Water, Supply, Estuary Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority applies for all the remaining unappropriated flow of the Guadalupe River
2001 Texas, United States of America, International Water, Supply Rio Grande ceases flowing to the Gulf of Mexico, for the first time in recorded history
2002 Texas Water, Supply State Water Plan is released under Senate Bill 1, compiling 16 regional plans, envisioning 8 major new reservoirs, and costing $18 billion
2002 Texas Water, Supply, Estuary Lower Colorado River Authority and San Antonio Water Systems jointly agree to study the feasibility of providing water to San Antonio from the Colorado River
2002 United States of America Energy Yucca Mountain site approved as repository for nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
2003 Texas Forests Louisiana-Pacific sells 475,000 acres of east Texas forestland to Molpus Woodlands Group, part of a trend of divestment among traditional east Texas timber owners and operators
2003 Texas Forests, Parks, Non-Profit Groups Conservation Fund acquires 33,000 of bottomland forest in the Neches River valley of east Texas, to be managed for sustainable forestry and habitat protection
2003 United States of America Energy Blackout of New York City, Detroit, and other areas in the Midwest and Northeast due to grid failure
2004 International Energy, Climate Russia endorses the Kyoto Protocol, putting the international agreement to limit greenhouse gases into force
2005 United States of America Energy, Wetlands, Climate Katrina, a category 5 hurricane, strikes Louisiana and Mississippi in August, ranking as the costliest storm in U.S. history

 


 
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