Council Member Leslie Pool names June 6 as "Austin Cave Day" with a citywide proclamation.
The citizens of Austin live above an underground frontier of hundreds of known caves, which are habitat for rare cave wildlife, serve to recharge our treasured springs, and are part of our region's natural heritage. As part of the International Year of Caves and Karst (http://iyck2021.org/
), several City of Austin departments are celebrating and promoting stewardship and understanding of connections within our underground ecosystem.
A community of scientists, experienced cavers, and dedicated volunteers helped locate and restore many of the caves around Austin. CAVE DAY ACTIVITIES
Short videos of cave invertebrates from Austin Water: Heliodiscus, Tayshaneta, Speodesmus
Virtual cave tours:
Fine art paintings of Central Texas cave life:
Interviews with biologists and geologists:
Why Protect Caves?
Unfortunately, widespread across the Austin area, caves were historically filled in to keep water at the surface for livestock, to dispose of trash, prevent injury, and to make sites more marketable for development. Recent exploration and preservation of our caves by Austin Water and Watershed Protection Departments means clean and plentiful groundwater. Crucial runoff drains into caves to support our wells, springs, and waterways, and keeping caves open helps reduce flooding of local creeks.
Austin's caves are home to unique wildlife and many underground species are found nowhere else in the world but here. The flora and fauna that inhabit these caves remained protected below over millions of years, evolving into some amazing and otherworldly species. Caves are one of our most exciting natural heritage features and offer exciting learning experiences for both schools and the public and a window into Austin's prehistory.