Henry Hamman, one of the founders of the Matagorda Bay Foundation, passed away last week after a long battle with cancer. Henry was an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, and most importantly, Henry was a mentor and a dear friend of mine.
In my academic and professional life, I have been blessed to have had so many mentors that took the time to share their experiences and knowledge with me and encourage and support me in my various pursuits. I will miss my weekly conversations with Henry, and hope to see him somewhere down the road.
We will continue our work to conserve the natural resources of the Matagorda Bay Ecosystem and will do so to honor Henry's dedication to the Texas outdoors.
Our president Jim Blackburn wrote the following tribute to Henry that I'd like to share:
Raising a Glass to Henry
To Henry Hamman I offer this toast,
To me he was simply one of the most
Supportive friends that one could find,
To me there’s no doubt he was one of a kind.
Henry and I did environmental things
That a deeply felt love for nature brings,
Henry was committed to Matagorda Bay,
And helping whooping cranes along the way.
For over thirty years he’s been my friend,
We’d meet for breakfast every now and then,
And talk of the coast and oysters and trout,
And how the quail crop was filling out.
We’d talk of rain and south Texas grass,
And how the river was flowing fast,
We’d talk of the future of the bay,
And how freshwater had been taken away.
He and I started the Matagorda Bay Foundation,
A group we spoke of with elation,
A finger in the Texas environmental dike,
A group that told power to take a hike.
We wanted to protect something that we loved,
A place of marsh and seagrass and mud,
An unsettled place unlike Galveston Bay,
A place a bit wild, a bit out of the way.
The last time we met, Henry had trouble walking,
But he was still eloquent, no trouble talking,
You could see the frustration with his physical condition,
But it did not interfere with his Matagorda mission.
So I raise my glass to a friend I enjoyed,
And wish him well on his final voyage,
And when I go fishing on Matagorda Bay
Henry and I will have a few words to say.
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