Nov. 5-6 water quality trainings will focus on Houston area

Free Texas Watershed Stewards trainings will address Greater Houston water issues

HOUSTON – Two free Texas Watershed Stewards workshops on water quality and availability issues in the Greater Houston Area will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m on Nov. 5-6.

The workshops are sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in coordination with the Houston-Galveston Area Council. They are open to anyone interested in improving water quality in the Houston area.

Two free Texas Watershed Stewards trainings will be held in the Houston area Nov. 5 and 6. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Two free Texas Watershed Stewards trainings will be held in the Houston area. The Nov. 5 program will be held in Sugar Land and Nov. 6 program will be held in Spring.  (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

The Nov. 5 workshop will be held at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, 13016 University Blvd., Sugar Land. The Nov. 6 workshop will be held at the Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center, 1300 Riley Fuzzell Road, Spring.

Seating is limited, so attendees  are encouraged to preregister at http://tws.tamu.edu.

“The workshops are designed to help watershed residents improve and protect their water resources by becoming involved in local watershed protection and management activities,” said Dr. Allen Malone, AgriLife Extension agent for Harris County.

Malone said the workshops will include an overview of water quality and watershed management, and will primarily focus on water quality issues in the Greater Houston Area, including current efforts to help improve and protect the health of important area water sources.

The workshops 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.

“Surface water in the Houston area is a critical resource for the area’s residents, economy and environment,” said Justin Bower, with the Houston-Galveston council’s community and environmental planning department.

The council oversees several programs aimed at characterizing and reducing pollution in Houston waterways, Bower said. It works in cooperation with local stakeholders, as well as local, state and federal governments. Its activities range from identifying and resolving water quality and watershed issues and providing data and technical assistance to public outreach activities and volunteer opportunities.

Bower noted that the council’s Clean Water Initiative includes public education and outreach activities similar to those in the upcoming Texas Watershed Stewards workshops.

“Along with the free training, participants receive a free copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion,” said Galen Roberts, with AgriLife Extension and the Watershed Steward Program.

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.

“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, contact Roberts at 979-862-8070 or groberts@ag.tamu.edu

For more information on the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s water resources programs, call 713-499-6653 or got to http://www.h-gac.com/community/water.

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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