Programs in San Antonio will spotlight watershed stakeholder engagement

A free Texas Watershed Steward training program  will be held

A Texas Watershed Planning Program event July 21-22 in San Antonio will feature two training programs related to engaging stakeholders. (Photo courtesy of Texas Watershed Steward Program)

SAN ANTONIO–The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Watershed Planning Program is hosting two training programs for water and natural resources professionals July 21-22 in San Antonio.

Both training programs will be held at the San Antonio Water System main building, 2800 U.S. Hwy 281 North, San Antonio.

The first program, “Getting in Step – Top 10 Outreach Tips that Won’t Break the Bank,” will be held July 21 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Registration is $30.

The second program, “Stakeholder Facilitation: Working with Stakeholders to Move the Process Forward,” will be July 22 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration is $100.

Charlie MacPherson of Tetra Tech, an environmental engineering and consulting firm, will teach the trainings, both of which are focused on watershed stakeholder engagement. MacPherson has authored several guidebooks for stakeholder engagement for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Nikki Dictson, Texas Water Resources Institute program specialist and manager for the institute’s watershed program, said the ‘Getting in Step’ program will highlight practical tips and tools used to effectively engage and involve stakeholders throughout a watershed area.

Topics at the stakeholder facilitation training, Dictson said, will include determining who needs to be involved, making meetings count, diffusing conflict, making decisions using a consensus-based approach and sustaining the stakeholder group.

“Outreach is a powerful tool to get stakeholders involved early in the watershed planning process, promoting behavior change and enhancing the implementation of your programs,” Dictson said.

“Stakeholder engagement is more than just holding a public hearing or seeking public comment on a new regulation,” MacPherson said. “Effective stakeholder engagement provides a method for identifying public concerns and values, developing consensus among affected parties, and producing efficient and effective solutions through an open, inclusive process.”

For more information or to register, visit http://watershedplanning.tamu.edu .

The institute is part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

The Texas Watershed Planning Program is funded through a Clean Water Act nonpoint grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and theU.S. Environmental Protection Agency..

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