Governor Abbott wants to install a floating barrier to deter illegal crossings from Mexico.
On Friday, residents of South Texas denounced that the installation of a floating barrier in the Rio Grande would alter the natural flow and cause environmental damage.
Previously, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the placement of a row of barbed-wire buoys in the Rio Grande to prevent the entry of migrants from Mexico. In preparation for the deployment of this barrier, Eagle Pass authorities flattened an island near Shelby Park.
"The buoys are another attempt to militarize our border that has an impact on the river," complained Adriana Martinez, a fluvial geomorphologist who has published studies on the effect of building barriers on the border.
"Like the federal fence, these buoys will change the way the water flows and therefore change the course of the river itself," she explained.
Steven McCraw, the chief of the Texas Public Safety Department, called Eagle Pass "the center of gravity for smuggling." Therefore, the buoys will be installed first in the section of the river crossing that territory.
Alex Flores, an Eagle Pass filmographer, demanded to be informed about what permission Texas obtained to demolish an island, alter the ecosystem, and modify the flow of the river.
"What studies were done to measure the environmental impact or to show that this barrier will decrease border crossings? They are operating without regard for the impact on the community or environmental laws," he stressed.
"The Rio Grande is a river with wildlife protected by federal law. As beneficiaries of this life-sustaining water source, we must protect it," said Jessie Fuentes, a retired teacher.