Ed Rainwater Honored for Service to Coastal Region


Friends, family and Water District leaders gathered September 28th to honor the community contributions and leadership of Ed Rainwater of Rockport.

Rainwater served as a Water District board member for 15 years before his retirement in 2021.

The reception in his honor was held in the Bay Education Center at the Rockport Harbor which operates as a visitor center for the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve and is part of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute.

Rainwater served on the Marine Science Advisory Board for 20 years, was part of the board’s executive committee and was instrumental in advancing coastal environmental research.

Dr. Ed Buskey, director of the UT Institute at Port Aransas, praised Ed and Lucille Rainwater for their passion for science and love of local ecosystems.  He credited Ed Rainwater’s behind-the scenes leadership for helping  to build the Bay Education Center in 2010, and then helping to rebuild and revitalize the center after the damage of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Buskey expressed the Marine Science Institute’s deepest gratitude for Rainwater’s remarkable service and dedication, saying his impact on the education center will be felt for generations to come.

Brian Williams, Water District general manager, applauded Rainwater for his desire to not only be an advocate for the environment but to go beyond that to being a proactive steward of the environment.

Williams noted that during his years as a Water District board member Rainwater had an inclusive, consensus-building leadership style and was a key player in creating an environment of trust that has served the District and the region well.

The Water District Board is made up of eight members – seven who are elected in area communities and one who is appointed by the other members.  Rainwater was first appointed in 2006, taking the seat previously held by Gene Dressen who served for 36 years including 14 years as board president. Rainwater was unanimously reappointed every four years by his peer directors until he decided to step down.  During that time the District experienced significant growth with capital assets increasing from $57 million to $170 million.

Rainwater moved to Rockport after his 1995 retirement as vice president of Dow Chemical Texas Operations which includes an extensive chemical complex on the Texas Coast in the Freeport area.

(L-R) Brian Williams, Doll Kellar, Tom Bridges, Ed Rainwater, Mark Evans, Larry Kalich, Dr. Ed Buskey.

Rainwater with coastal research display at Bay Education Center

Buskey (R) thanks Rainwater for leadership and passion for science

(October 2023)