Riparian and stream ecosystem workshop set for March 29 in Edna

EDNA–The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a workshop from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. March 29 in Edna for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Lavaca River Basin watershed, coordinators said.

The morning session will be at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Jackson County, 411 N. Wells St. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the river.

The free workshop is presented by the institute, Lavaca-Navidad River Authority and the AgriLife Extension office in Jackson County.

A healthy riparian buffer zone on Buck Creek near U.S. Highway 83 works to protect water quality during runoff events. (Texas AgriLife Research photo)

The Texas Water Resources Instituite will present a healthy riparian and ecosystem workshop March 29 in Edna. (Texas AgriLife Research photo)

“We are able to offer this workshop without cost thanks to program funding provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Nikki Dictson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and coordinator in College Station.

Dictson said the workshop will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones, as well as the benefits and economic impacts from proper functioning riparian systems. Topics will include riparian and watershed management principles, water quality, riparian vegetation, hindrances to healthy riparian areas, stream processes, management practices and local resources.

Presentations will be given by representatives of the Texas Water Resources Institute, U.S.Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority.

Attendees must RSVP by March 25 to Dictson at 979-458-5915 or n-dictson@tamu.edu, or online at http://texasriparian.org/trainings/upcoming-training-locations/.

The program will include a lunchtime presentation with a free catered lunch sponsored by the river authority and Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District.

Allen Berthold, Texas Water Resources Institute research scientist in College Station, said the Lavaca River above tidal waters has been identified for watershed protection plan development due to concerns about elevated levels of bacteria as noted in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s 2008 Texas Water Quality Inventory.

“Healthy riparian areas are crucial in helping water bodies achieve state standards, enhance wildlife habitat and maintain ecosystems,” Berthold said. “This program provides a great introduction for riparian management and watershed planning.”

Participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates at the conclusion of the training, said Mike Hiller, AgriLife Extension agent for Jackson County.

The workshop offers several types of continuing education units or hours, including three units — two general and one integrated pest management — for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders. It offers one unit from the Texas Water Resources Institute, seven hours from the Texas Floodplain Managers Association and six hours for Texas Nutrient Management Planning specialists.

The program may also be used for continuing education units for professional engineers.

For more information, contact Dictson or visit http://texasriparian.org or go to Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TexasRiparianAssociation.

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