Oct. 11 water quality training in Austin to focus on Colorado River

AUSTIN – A free Texas Watershed Steward Workshop on water quality issues related to the Austin area will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 11 at the LCRA Redbud Center, 3601 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin.

A free Texas Watershed Steward training will be held on Oct 11 in Austin. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

A free Texas Watershed Steward training to help watershed residents improve and protect their water quality will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 11 at the LCRA Redbud Center in Austin. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

The training is open to anyone interested in improving water quality in the Austin region, said program coordinators.

The workshop is presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in coordination with the Lower Colorado River Authority.

“The workshop is designed to help watershed residents improve and protect their water resources by becoming involved in local watershed protection and management activities,” 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 will primarily focus on water quality issues relating to the Colorado River, including current efforts to help improve and protect water in the area.

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

This workshop is being held in conjunction with ongoing protection efforts in the Colorado River watershed.

“The Colorado River is an important resource for the area” said Julie Ansley, AgriLife Extension agent, Travis County. “The river is a part of the rural character of the Lost Pines Region, is a source of water for agricultural and municipal supply, plus it supports fishing and recreational activities and is a significant wildlife habitat.”

“We encourage stakeholders to attend the Watershed Steward Workshop and to become more engaged in these efforts,” Ansley said.

Along with the free training, participants receive a free 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 advisors, 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.

Preregistration is available through the Texas Watershed Steward website, http://tws.tamu.edu.

“Participating in the Texas Watershed Steward program 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, or Ansley at 512-854-9600, jzansley@ag.tamu.edu.

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 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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