Water quality training Jan. 24 in Navasota to focus on Brazos River basin

NAVASOTA – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality issues related to the Brazos River basin will be held from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Texas Small Farmers and Ranchers Technology Center, Carver Community Center Campus, 1602 S.La Salle St.in Navasota.

The no-cost training is open to anyone interested in improving water quality in the Navasota region, said program coordinators. Participants are encouraged to preregister at http://tws.tamu.edu.

The Brazos River basin area will be the focus of the Texas Watershed Steward workshop to be held Jan . 24 in Navasota. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service graphic)

The workshop is sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board as part of the Texas Watershed Steward program. It is being held in coordination with the Texas Small Farmers and Ranchers Community Based Organization.

“The workshop is designed to help watershed residents improve and protect their water resources and gain a better understanding of how water quality in the Brazos River Basin is managed,” said Galen Roberts, AgriLife Extension program specialist and coordinator for the Texas Watershed Steward program.

Roberts said the workshop will include an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, but primarily will focus on water quality issues relating to the Brazos River Basin, including current efforts to help improve and protect it.

“The Brazos River Basin extends from New Mexico to the Gulf and includes the Navasota River watershed, which drains into the Brazos just west of Navasota,” said Kim Hall, AgriLife Extension agent for Grimes County. “The Brazos River is a source for irrigation and municipal drinking water, as well as wildlife habitat for many species.”

The training will include a discussion of watershed systems, types and sources of water pollution, as well as ways to improve and protect water quality, Hall said. There also will be a group discussion on community-driven watershed protection and management.

“The Navasota River below Lake Limestone to its confluence with the Brazos is on the state list of impaired waters for elevated levels of bacteria,” Hall said. “It first appeared on that list in 2002.”

Hall encouraged stakeholders to attend the Texas Watershed Steward workshop to learn about the dangers of water pollution and how to become involved in water quality protection efforts.

Along with the free training, participants will receive a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion. The program also offers seven continuing education units in soil and water management for certified crop advisers, seven units for professional engineers and certified planners, and seven continuing education credits for certified teachers.

It also offers three general continuing education units for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders, seven for certified landscape architects and three for certified floodplain managers.

“Participating in the Texas Watershed Steward training is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference in your watershed,” Roberts said.

For more information and to preregister, go to http://tws.tamu.edu or contact Roberts at 979-862-8070, groberts@ag.tamu.edu.

For more information about the Brazos River basin and ongoing water quality protection efforts, visit http://www.brazos.org.

The Texas Watershed Steward program is funded through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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