The Endangered Species Media Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization chartered in Texas in 1989 to promote greater understanding of how the quality of human life is enhanced by preservation of our natural heritage of wilderness and wildlife.

The mission of the Project is to create conservation programs and productions for literary, artistic, inspirational and educational purposes; encouraging and promoting works that foster a thoughtful perspective toward stewardship of Earths ecological treasures.

The organization was founded to establish a partnership with schools, corporations and private individuals.

Endangered Species Media Project (ESMP) is working to develop native wetland habitat restoration of the vanishing wildlife ecosystem in wetlands, prairies and forests, along Buffalo Bayou.  Texas Parks & Wildlife has developed a film production in association with the organization and its habitat restoration efforts.

ESMP is working with teachers and students in cooperation with university botanists who contribute expertise in research to restore native habitats.  In addition, resources are drawn from the Texas Master Naturalist, the Texas Forest Service and native plant horticulturists to provide a knowledge base as well as hands on assistance in executing these projects and field expeditions. These and other volunteers offer a broad wealth of expertise needed to complete the projects undertaken to restore native habitats in coastal habitats, prairies, forest canopies and under stories in Houston’s Urban Wilderness.

ESMP has developed an association with schools and universities throughout Texas and has facilitated participation by over 3000 high school environmental science students and professionals, providing habitat restoration throughout Greater Houston’s urban wilderness. 

The organization was one of only three non-profits throughout Texas to receive a Texas Education Agency Science Outreach Award.  ESMP’s film documentation of this project resulted in the organization receiving the Houston Mayor’s Proud Partner Award.  Another of the Project’s endeavors is a teacher training film as well as entries for the Environmental Protection Agency, done as part of the Texas Education Agency’s Science Outreach Grant. 

Curriculum for this project has been developed by a committee of teachers who have over 30 years of experience in science curriculum development, science instruction and are published authors of text books. They have also developed the faculty training modules.

The need for scientific studies, research and remediation of invasive species in Texas wilderness areas is critical to the health of the ecosystem.  This effort is important work for the environment in general, as well.  Therefore, the human population and the ecosystem benefit from this important conservation and preservation effort. A critical aspect of this work is researching and replanting original native Texas species.

Public Education and Hands-on Challenges:  

ESMP offers interactive educational programs, productions and presentations to share the beauty and importance of wildlife native habitats through film productions, museum programs, publications and other educational endeavors which inspire greater appreciation of our natural heritage.

Conservation Activities:

In addition to native habitat restoration, ESMP’s conservation activities for young people include educational programs, canoe expeditions and Galveston Bay dolphin research expeditions for inner-city youth on university research boats. Students create classroom portfolios, and are involved in additional follow-up conservation activities such as coastal wetland grass plantings, and adopt-a-beach cleanups.  The activities enlighten and empower students, helping them to see problems, learn the causes and then become part of a solution.

Ventures in outdoor settings have been found useful in the prevention of juvenile delinquency.  Bringing inner-city children into natural settings will often reverse the effects of inner-city conditions and a lack of positive extracurricular activities. Programs emphasizing natural settings and clear goals produce significant changes in the self concept of adolescents. 

The best teaching is appropriate modeling and that is exactly what students are seeing and then doing with their peers.  We can and are teaching students by moving beyond theory to practice.  Putting theory into practice is a unique way to build positive self-esteem in today's youth, as well as actively assist in problem solving.  Those are the challenges and solutions Endangered Species Media Project contributes positively to the health and well being of today's Texans, as well as tomorrow’s.

Buffalo Bayou Canoe Expeditions & Clean-ups: 

ESMP hosts students from area universities to assist high school environmental science teachers and students in observing the animal, marine, bird and flora species and with habitat preservation by removal of harmful floatable debris throughout Buffalo Bayou. Students are amazed at the natural beauty and wildlife that exists within a highly developed cityscape.  The challenges to understand how to protect and preserve all life are questions they answer for themselves and future generations.

Youth workers understand the importance of providing hands-on outdoor activities which introduce new opportunities to match students with real challenges.  Students are in need of enhanced programs with field trips such as those provided by the Endangered Species Media Project.

Dolphin Expeditions:

ESMP’s Dolphin Research Expeditions bring students to the marine environment on university research boats exploring the habitat of the dolphins and other sea and animal life in the Gulf Coast ecosystem and learning about the interrelationship of all living things. The project has been the subject of a local PBS Television production, as well as local network news shows.  Students are given the unique opportunity to observe and assist scientists at work, and take part in observation, data collection, and problem solving.  They receive classroom training, and then participate in the expeditions on research vessels. 

The future depends on what we model for today's youth and what they learn about interactions with their environment and the world around them.  By inspiring and involving them, we’re working for positive change toward their future.  Teachers that work with the program feel that the trips instill a positive influence on youth.  Teachers are consistently positive and optimistic about the students' ability to be inspired and to appreciate learning from these expeditions, thereby staying in school.

Young Artists Exhibitions: 

Students' wildlife art from a number of Texas school districts has been sponsored by the organization as part of an art-science lesson plan developed by our teacher advisory committee, and has been shown at a number of Texas sites including; the State Capitol Building, Padre Island National Seashore, Texas A&M University, 2 Houston Center, HISD Headquarters and others.



ESMP created the book, VANISHING WILDLIFE OF TEXAS, written by renowned Texas naturalists, John and Gloria Tveten.  Each species of animal, plant, insect and fish are beautifully illustrated by original paintings.  Project based learning was developed for use with the book in over 5,000 schools throughout Texas.

This unique fully illustrated, hard bound publication depicts Texas wildlife diversity, a gift beyond measure. The quality of human life flourishes with nature’s bounty and is based on our ability to maintain biological diversity for future generations. The health of other species is a strong indicator of the health of the habitat we share with them. 

Productions and museum tours have focused on rare and endangered species of Texas and their vanishing habitats and have included the following venues: Farmer's Branch Historic Park, Farmer's Branch, TX; The Texas Memorial Museum, U.T. Austin, TX; Baylor University, Waco, TX; Brazos Valley Museum, Bryan, TX; Matagorda County Museum, Bay City, TX; Whooping Crane Festival, Port Aransas, TX; Dallas World Aquarium, Dallas, TX; U.T. Museum of Texan Cultures, San Antonio, TX; Mitchelson Museum, Marshall, TX; Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose, TX; U.T. El Paso, El Paso, TX; Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, Houston, TX.

Film Projects:


Through a collaborative endeavor with numerous experts, scholars, writers, and editors, the organization is a multifaceted project with a history of educational productions.  Ongoing films include documentation of the project’s native habitat restoration in Houston parks.  Texas Parks & Wildlife has developed a film in association with the organization on the restoration efforts, and ESMP’s documentation of these field expeditions resulted in a film entry for the Environmental Protection Agency.

ESMP is also producing a series of films on the history and ecological importance of Houston’s most precious urban wilderness: Buffalo Bayou.  The first video in the BUFFALO BAYOU PROJECT series, produced in association with Stonefilms of Texas, is narrated by the late Ron Stone, and chronicles Buffalo Bayou’s history.

In the second video of the series, Dr. Dave Rosgen of Wildland Hydrology takes a comparative view of Houston’s Brays Bayou and Buffalo Bayou, supporting a return to natural river systems to deal with urban flood issues.  This film has been shown to organizations throughout Houston, including the Memorial Park Conservancy and the Bayou Preservation Association.   

Documentary work on Buffalo Bayou continues with the recent debut of ESMP’s commissioned film score, the Buffalo Bayou Suite, composed by Brad Sayles and performed by the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra at St. John the Divine and the Museum of Fine Art’s historic Bayou Bend.

The organization has produced film festivals which have toured throughout North America.  “Images of Vanishing Nature” is a series of film productions and museum exhibitions on conservation and wildlife which debuted at the Rice University Media Center.  Over 30 internationally acclaimed artists, filmmakers and educators participated in this event.  The tour has included works which have been shown at the Smithsonian Institution, the United Nations.  The tour has traveled to Canada's National Museum of Nature, Virginia Museum of Natural Science, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, and the Detroit Zoological Gardens. The exhibitions have been the subject of local television news programs and documentaries by public television.


ESMP Environmental & Earth Day Festivals:

The Endangered Species Media Project has been both producer and beneficiary of educational festivals, including Earth Day events and music festivals. The organization has produced these educational festivals in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Phoenix, Sedona and Tucson,

Children of all ages enjoy these events and gain information and educational knowledge of environmental and conservation efforts.

Extensive Community, Foundation and Organizational support

Extensive support from the community, foundations and other organizations has contributed to the success of ESMP during the past 25 years including :

●Houston Endowment Foundation

●The Meadows Foundation

●The Powell Foundation

●Texas Commission on the Arts

●The Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation

●Harris County Department of Education

●Foundation for Education of Harris County

●Houston Museum of Natural Science

●Univ. of Texas Memorial Museum

●Univ. of Texas Museum of Texan Cultures

●U. S. National Parks Service

●Canadian National Museum of Nature

●Virginia Museum of Natural History

●Scripp’s Institution of Oceanography

●Detroit Zoological Gardens

●Gilbane Building Company

●Rohm & Haas Company

●Vastor Resources

●Emmott Book Binders

●Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P.

●CenterPoint Energy

●Texas Investigative Network

●British Petroleum

●HP Computer Corporation

●Millpond Press

●Summerset House Publishing

●United Space Alliance

●Dancie Ware Public Relations

●Story Sloane III, Story Sloane Gallery

●Linda Knight, Rice Model Lab, HISD

●Earth Share of Texas

●The Coca Cola Company

●Anheuser Busch

●Red Stripe

●RC Cola

●Jamaican Airlines

●Ms. Jane Dale Owen

●Mr. Dow Hickam

●Ms. Jane Blaffer Owen

●Mr. Kenny Loggins

●Mr. & Mrs. Randall Jamail

●Mr. Hub Finkelstein

Since 1990 ESMP has partnered with local organizations to implement worthwhile projects and receives continued financial and in-kind support from them.




The Endangered Species Media Project is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization and all donations are tax deductible


                                                  1813 Missouri Street   Houston, Texas 77006

                                                  (713) 520-1985 Voice     (713) 529-1183 Fax




A Celebration of the Life of Frank Salzhandler

On February 7, 2015 the environmental community lost a dear friend and valiant warrior in Endangered Species Media Project founder and long time Executive Director Frank Salzhandler.

Frank devoted his entire life to the cause of nature-based education for adults and children, for environmental justice, and for the preservation of precious natural resources for all. He believed we were each essential for preserving natural resources and a healthy environment for future generations.

His fight will go on as his mission lives in the hearts and hands of those he brought together to work for common goals. If you wish to commemorate Frank’s life and work, in lieu of flowers donations may be made to ESMP which will be used for the defense fund for Buffalo Bayou as Frank would have wished. Donations to this 501(c) (3) nonprofit are tax deductible.

On Sunday, March 22, 2015 his family, friends and colleagues gathered at the Houston Arboretum to remember Frank and shared our memories in his honor. In keeping with the traditions of ESMP there were multimedia presentations of Frank’s life and work.