Texas Brigades Hosts First Baffin Bay Experience with Bringing Baffin Back™ Initiative

Boating in Baffin Bay

The Bringing Baffin Back™ Initiative, a partnership between the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, recently collaborated with Texas Brigades, a nonprofit youth conservation and leadership education organization, to host the first Baffin Bay Experience.

Bringing Baffin Back™ and the Texas Brigades connected through the Texan by Nature Conservation Wrangler program and recognized an opportunity to expand conservation education opportunities in the Baffin Bay area and foster stewardship of the bay in younger generations. These principals are overarching priorities for the Bringing Baffin Back™ initiative.

The Baffin Bay Experience, “Exploring Baffin Bay”, allowed 30 children, ages 9-17, to learn alongside 22 volunteers, including HRI scientists, educators, Texas Game Wardens, local resource managers, fishing guides, and more. The free, single-day event was held at Kaufer-Hubert Memorial Park in Riviera, TX, on the shore of Baffin Bay.  Throughout the day, campers rotated through stations focused on fishing, boating safety, water quality, birding, and watershed dynamics. 

Longtime Bringing Baffin Back supporters, and owners of La Pesca Lodge, Meghan and Captain Justin “Storm” Brodnax, assisted with the Experience by taking participants on the bay where they collected water samples to learn water quality monitoring techniques from HRI researchers.

“My husband, Captain Storm, was born and raised on Baffin Bay,” Brodnax said, referring to why her family finds it important to support Bringing Baffin Back. “He has spent the last 34 years doing what he can to promote a healthy ecosystem and teaching everyone who steps on his boat just how special our bay is and the importance of keeping our bay clean for years to come. We feel it is important to teach the next generation all we know so that they, and our children, can protect, and help our bay system thrive.”

Fishing rods, reels, and other equipment used during the Baffin Bay Experience were donated by the CCA Brush Country Chapter. Lunch for the day was generously provided by La Pesca Lodge, and breakfast for volunteers was donated by The Reel Baffin Bay County Store.