2019S0618-1 04/25/19
  By: Zaffirini S.C.R. No. 63
         WHEREAS, For thousands of years, the mermaid has been one of
  the most striking symbols of humanity's connection with the natural
  world, and over the past century, this legendary figure has come to
  represent the city of San Marcos and its special relationship to the
  water resources of Central Texas; and
         WHEREAS, The story of the mermaid in San Marcos begins with
  the abundant springs that every day release 100 million gallons of
  freshwater from the Edwards Aquifer into the San Marcos River;
  considered a sacred place by Native Americans, and regarded as the
  creation site of the Coahuiltecans, the springs have drawn people
  to their banks for more than 11,500 years, making this area what is
  thought to be one of the oldest continually inhabited sites in North
  America; and
         WHEREAS, In 1845, Edward Burleson, a former vice president of
  the Republic of Texas, dammed the headwaters of the San Marcos
  River, thereby creating Spring Lake; over the ensuing years, the
  water from the lake powered gristmills, sawmills, an ice factory,
  and an electric light works; the San Marcos River also constituted
  an important water stop along the Chisholm Trail; and
         WHEREAS, A. B. Rogers bought Edward Burleson's homestead in
  the 1920s and built a resort hotel on the shore of the lake; he later
  began offering rides in glass-bottomed boats that allowed visitors
  to see through the crystal water to the bubbling springs beneath;
  his son Paul, who succeeded him, established the Aquarena Springs
  amusement park on the property and in 1950 built an underwater
  theater, where young women known as "aquamaids" staged exhibitions
  of synchronized swimming and underwater ballet; at the peak of its
  popularity, the park drew up to 350,000 visitors every year and was
  featured in Life magazine, and the submerged theater was featured
  on the cover of Popular Mechanics; in time, the show came to include
  Glurpo, a pipe-smoking clown, and a swimming pig named Ralph; and
         WHEREAS, The performances continued until the 1990s, when
  Texas State University acquired the park and set a new course for
  the property; today, the site hosts the Meadows Center for Water and
  the Environment, which conducts research and educational programs
  focused on promoting sustainable water management and
  environmental stewardship; the critical nature of the center's work
  is underscored by the fact that the Edwards Aquifer supplies
  drinking water to several million people and serves as the
  principal source of water for agriculture and industry throughout
  the region, while waters discharged by the aquifer also support
  recreation and tourism; in addition, the aquifer system sustains
  over 40 highly adapted species and a number that are either
  threatened or endangered, including five found in the San Marcos
  Springs and a stretch of river just below the springs; and
         WHEREAS, In 2016, the Mermaid Society of San Marcos was
  created to foster harmony among the varied interests of
  environmentalism, the arts, and economic growth; the society has
  established an annual Mermaid Week, which includes a parade, the
  Mermaid Society Ball, and the Mermaid SPLASH Festival; and
         WHEREAS, Through its arts program and with revenue from its
  hotel occupancy tax, the City of San Marcos has funded a number of
  mermaid-themed works of public art, including a mural and a series
  of seven-foot-tall statues decorated by various artists; and
         WHEREAS, By adopting the mermaid as a symbol of the city, the
  people of San Marcos are encouraging public interest in the natural
  environment and highlighting the central role that their community
  is playing in preserving the water resources of the Lone Star State;
  now, therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the 86th Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby designate San Marcos as the Mermaid Capital of Texas; and, be
  it further
         RESOLVED, That, in accordance with the provisions of Section
  391.003(e), Government Code, this designation remain in effect
  until the 10th anniversary of its designation.