Our Mission: To preserve and protect the Rio Grande-Rio Bravo, its watershed and environment, through awareness, advocacy, research, education, stewardship and bi-national collaboration for the benefit of present and future generations.
The Rio Grande International Study Center
A Catalyst for Positive Community Behavioral Changes
The Rio Grande International Study Center (RGISC, pronounced risk) is a 501C3 nonprofit organization
incorporated on January 25, 1994. RGISC operates on a modest budget provided by foundation grants and donations.
RGISC is able to promote useful community projects because hundreds of volunteers provide various kinds of
goods, services, and labor without charge. Volunteers form the heart of the RGISC mission by:
• Working with school groups every year for Dia Del Rio's Paso del Indio Nature Trail clean up.
• Working with the City of Laredo in assessing and preserving green spaces throughout the community.
• Collaborating with STEER students in the IBWC River Monitoring Program.
• Processing and interpreting river data collected by RGISC and other organizations for use by the interested public.
• Maintaining the RGISC website at www.RGISC.org.
RGISC has formed partnerships with other groups to improve the environmental health of the community.
Alliances have been formed with
• Laredo Community College.
• City of Laredo.
• Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.
• International Boundary and Water Commission.
• South Texas Environmental Education Research (STEER).
• Jobs Training Partnership Act (JPTA).
• Los Caminos del Rio.
• Rio Grande Rio Bravo Coalition.
• Webb County Heritage Foundation.
• Proyecto de Investigación Ambiental del Rio Bravo.
• The Laredo Housing Authority.
• The Webb County Soil Conservation District.
• The Asplundh Corporation.
Working with these agencies, RGISC acts as a catalyst in promoting changes in community attitudes and
behavior. The strongest of these alliances is with Laredo Community College (LCC). The LCC administration,
believing in the community mission espoused by RGISC, provides strong support for the organization. The
tangible nature of this support is evidenced by the office space and equipment that LCC makes available to
RGISC. RGISC, in turn, renders valuable services to the college.
RGISC attracted one-half million dollars from the Lamar Bruni Vergara Foundation for the construction of the
Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Science Center on the LCC Campus. RGISC was the driving force in
constructing the Paso del Indio Nature Trail along the riverbank at LCC. The Center and the nature trail were
RGISC goals from the beginning. RGISC founders saw the need for an environmental science center to
educate the community about the Rio Grande and its importance to the millions of people who live along its
Forward thinking LCC leaders have incorporated the concept of an environmental science center as a
part of the institution’s science program, interest in the Center is much broader than science. It has been used
to stimulate creativity in writing, music and art. Others have found the Center to be an excellent and enjoyable
place to satisfy their community service requirements. Many students use the Center as a living laboratory,
finding the study of living specimens to be much more enjoyable than studying foul smelling, pickled ones in
their science classrooms. Some folks like to come to the Center because it is entertaining. They are intrigued
by the activities of their non-human neighbors that inhabit the Rio Grande. At the Center visitors gain new
understanding and appreciation of the Rio Grande.
Through the work of the RGISC organization thousands of citizens are learning about the vital importance of the
Rio Grande to their lives.
Our mission is to preserve, protect and foster respect for the Rio Grande-Rio Bravo, its watershed, environment and cultures, through research, education and bi-national stewardship and alliances with individuals, agencies and organizations.
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