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Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz Secures $1 Million Grant for Removal of Dilapidated Otilla Dam in San Antonio River

MCALLEN, Texas, April 24, 2024 | Ryan Saylor (771-200-0819)

Today, Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz announced a $1 million grant to the San Antonio River Authority for the removal of the dilapidated Otilla Dam. This significant achievement comes following De La Cruz’s letter advocating for the San Antonio River Authority's grant application to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Servicefor funds to remove the dam.

Built in the 1920s for irrigation purposes, the Otilla Dam has stood as a barrier in the San Antonio River, impeding its natural flow and posing safety risks to the surrounding areas, including counties in De La Cruz’s 15th Congressional District. Despite its location outside the immediate district, the San Antonio River's course intersects vital parts of our community. The removal of the dam is a crucial step towards restoring the river's health and expanding recreational opportunities for residents.

Over the years, the Otilla Dam has fallen into a state of disrepair, becoming not only a safety hazard but also a complete barrier for numerous aquatic species. Among these are the American eel, burrhead chub, and Guadalupe bass. By facilitating the removal of this outdated structure, Congresswoman De La Cruz aims to enhance public safety, mitigate flood risks, and restore critical river habitats for these endangered species.

"This grant marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to preserve and protect our natural resources," stated Congresswoman De La Cruz. "The removal of the dilapidated Otilla Dam represents a collaborative effort towards safeguarding our environment and promoting sustainable recreational opportunities for generations to come."

The project's scope extends beyond mere infrastructure removal; it embodies a collective commitment to environmental stewardship and community resilience. By reconnecting 30 miles of upstream river habitat, this initiative will not only benefit local ecosystems but also enhance recreational experiences for residents and visitors alike.