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​​​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 (RGISC, pronounced risk) is a 501c3
nonprofit organization incorporated in the state of Texas on January 25, 1994.

​RGISC has formed partnerships and alliances with a diversity of groups to improve the environmental health of the community. Working with these groups and agencies, RGISC acts as a catalyst in promoting changes in community attitudes and behavior. RGISC operates on a modest budget provided by foundation grants, sponsorships, memberships 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.

Early Years: RGISC & the Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Science Center

The strongest of these alliances has been with Laredo Community College (LCC) where our office is currently located.

The LCC administration, believing in the 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 (LBVESC) on the LCC Campus

RGISC was the driving force in constructing the Paso del Indio Nature Trail, in 1994, along the riverbank at LCC. The Center and 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 banks. The LBVESC opened on April 16, 1999 and transferred hands from RGISC to the college.

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 our work, thousands of citizens are learning about the vital importance of the Rio Grande to their lives.

help us protect
the rio grande

A tax-deductible donation on your behalf
will help us to continue this fight.
Our river needs to be protected and you can help!


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1 West End Washington St. Bldg P-11
Laredo, Texas, 78040
Rio Grande International Study Center is a certified 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
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