87R4707 CJM-D
  By: Zwiener H.C.R. No. 13
         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,
  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 the Burleson 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 clear water to the bubbling springs
  beneath; his son Paul, who succeeded him, established the Aquarena
  Springs amusement park on the property, and in 1950 he 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, with the submerged theater
  making it to 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 its work is
  underscored by the fact that the Edwards Aquifer supplies drinking
  water to nearly two million people and serves as the principal
  source of water for agriculture, industry, and recreation
  throughout the region; the aquifer system sustains over 40 highly
  adapted species, a number of which are either threatened or
  endangered, including several found in the San Marcos springs and a
  stretch of river just below; and
         WHEREAS, In 2016, the Mermaid Society of Texas, headquartered
  in San Marcos, was created to foster harmony between environmental
  sustainability, the arts, and economic growth; the society has
  established an annual Mermaid SPLASH festival, which includes a
  parade, the Mermaid Art Ball, and the riverside AquaFaire
  celebration; moreover, the city has funded mermaid-themed public
  art through a program supported by the hotel occupancy tax; among
  the works underwritten by this initiative are murals and a series of
  seven-foot-tall statues, each one decorated by a different artist;
         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 their community is
  playing in preserving the water resources of the Lone Star State;
  now, therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the 87th Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby designate the city of San Marcos as the official 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 the date this resolution is finally
  passed by the legislature.