We are working to stop the removal of Cape's Dam on the San Marcos river to save the ecosystem, history, and unique recreation around Thompson's Island.

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Why Save Cape's Dam?

There are 4 very BIG reasons to save Cape's "Weir". Educate yourself below. Click on the image for even more details.


Endangered Species

Over 150 years ago, original San Marcos settlers built Cape's Weir and the adjoining mill race. Over this time nature has taken hold of this area and flourished, harboring some of the world's most endangered species. The mill race is the left Chanel of the river starting at Cape's Dam. People have downplayed it as a ditch. Its 1/4 mile wide and 30 feet wide and avg of 4 feet deep. Equivalent of 250,000 cubic feet of water for flourishing habitat and green space. Click Picture above for more information!


Thompson's Island

Capes Dam was originated in 1866 and originally known as “Thompson McKie and Davis Mill Dam” It’s original purpose was for milling and grinning cotton. The ditch or as we call it the Millrace has an irrigation record that was filed September 9th, 1895 by a well known Veteran Dr. William Alexander Thompson that currently forms a nice size island called Thompson Islands. In 1979 and 1994 it received a Texas Historical Marker. He is one of the first to settle here in San Marcos. Way More info by clicking the image above!


River Floatability

Recreation on our river is probably one of the first things people think about when you say the word "San Marcos". We advertise in other city's and states that we have a great and clean water to come check out and play in from tubing, kayaking and canoeing. We are able to capture a ton of revenue from tourism and local citizens that have chosen this area for leisure. But if we do not have adequate depth of water even at times when our water flow (CFS) is low we will not have the proper.....Click Picture above to read more

Veteran's Programs


Cape's Weir, and the Mill Race, are an integral part of rehabilitation programs for our nation's disabled veterans. The area provides unique accessibility, and furthermore allows disabled individuals independence when accessing the San Marcos River by essentially allowing them to enter and exit the river in the same place, on their own. Click the picture above more more information on one of the programs at Cape's Weir.


Get the facts here - avoid the fake news floating around

What's going on?

Cape’s Dam (actually a weir as it lets water pass) is a 150 year old river structure that creates Mill Race, Mill Race Falls and Thompson’s Island in Stokes Park, San Marcos. When this property was donated to the state of Texas the donors were promised that this historic place would be preserved. The city now manages this property and council has voted to destroy the weir, which was damaged by flooding several years ago and is no longer safe for recreation. River-lovers, scientists with dissenting viewpoints, and the donors of Stokes Park are protesting that decision. They are joined by voices from the veteran’s community, as the part of the river that will be destroyed will no longer be usable for recreational therapy kayaking by soldiers from Brooke Army Medical Center. Opponents say that, although well intentioned, the Texas State experts’ plan to destroy Cape’s is a risky gamble—while restoration is a sure bet on preservation. Questions are also being raised about the cost of what the city has only recently acknowledged, that Mill Race will need to be blocked by what will essentially be a new dam—and then filled and sealed over its several hundred-yard course to prevent erosion.

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Environmental Reasons

Over 150 years ago, original San Marcos settlers built Cape's Weir and the adjoining mill race.  Over this time nature has taken hold of this area and flourished, harboring some of the world's most endangered species.  Other scientist with extensive knowledge have found clear and significant issues with Dr. Hardy's findings, including very misleading percentages of increase of endangered Darter Fish Population and Texas Wild Rice.  The Weir creates areas of slow and fast moving water, a natural condition found in nature, which allows the species ideal conditions to birth and survive.  Taking out this weir will create a volatile environment and significant loss of life, if not total loss.

Veteran's Programs

In 1994 this non-profit called the Red River Race Team took off by offering classes and competitions. After our founder, Ben Kvanli, competed in the 1996 Olympic Games in Kayak he, and fellow athlete/coach, Mark Poindexter, helped to start the USA Canoe/Kayak Jr. Olympic program. One of the first participants in Texas was Adam Sanders, who had brittle bone disease, and he showed us the power of the healing waters of the San Marcos Springs. He had never been able to play with other kids safely, but on the water he could for the first time keep up with the other kids. As a result, his brother, David Power, and his wife Debbie helped us to buy the Olympic Outdoor Center at the headwaters of the springs. In 2002, Mary Beth Kvanli, introduced us to some wounded warriors that we took kayaking. Just like with Adam, the freedom of being on an even playing field electrified them, and encouraged us to look for opportunities to enhance more unique individuals' lives. We expanded these opportunities by getting a whitewater course built on the springs with the help of 3X World Cup Champion and Olympian Scott Shipley, Rebecca Ybarra Ramirez of the San Marcos CVB, the City of San Marcos, TX State University's Dr. Jim Kimmel, the San Marcos Lions Club, photographer Patrick Cavan Brown, and Tom Goynes and the San Marcos River Foundation in 2005 -06. Team River Runner became our partner in working with the wounded warriors when Joe Mornini came down to paddle with us at Ft. Sam Houston in 2005, and again for the opening of the Center for the Intrepid in 2007. As a result we have lead kayak trips, events, and classes for the VA hospitals in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Temple, and have taught close to 50,000 people to paddle with stability and style. Our daily training and weekly events and trips have given paddlers the opportunity to make the US National Team every year since we started, and we work to make that goal achievable by every athlete that we train. One of our athlete's Andy Soule moved to San Marcos to paddle the springs every day in preparation for the Biathlon, and was the only American to medal in the 2010 Paralympics with his bronze! Our Red River Racing Team also included the top paddlers in men's and women's kayak, as well as Va'ah on the 2012 National ParaCanoe Team.