Texas Watershed Steward program to address water quality, availability
FREDERICKSBURG – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality and availability issues related to the Pedernales River will be 8 a.m.-4 p.m. May 22 at the Hill Country University Center, 2818 East U.S. Highway 290 in Fredericksburg.
The no-cost training is open to anyone interested in improving the land and watershed quality of the Pedernales River area, coordinators said. Participants are encouraged to preregister at http://tws.tamu.edu.
The program is presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in coordination with the Hill Country Alliance.
“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 Brad Roeder, AgriLife Extension agent, Gillespie County. “It will include an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, but will primarily focus on the Pedernales River, including current efforts to help improve and protect this important water source.”
Training will include a discussion of watershed systems, types and sources of water pollution, and ways to improve and protect water quality, he said. There also will be a group discussion on community-driven watershed protection and management.
“Surface water in the Pedernales River is a critical source of water in the area,” said Christy Muse, executive director of the Hill Country Alliance. “We are working to bring people together who share a common interest in protecting and preserving the Pedernales.”
The Hill Country Alliance is a nonprofit organization that works throughout the Texas Hill Country to preserve and protect the natural resources and heritage of the region, Muse noted. Alliance members have been working in the Pedernales River area to facilitate collaboration between local stakeholders interested in preserving the watershed.
“Our goal is to protect the Hill Country and its resources by raising public awareness and building community support,” Muse said.
“Along with the free training, participants receive a free copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion,” said Galen Roberts, AgriLife Extension program specialist and Watershed Steward Program coordinator.
The program 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,” said Roberts.
For more information about the Hill Country Alliance, go to http://www.hillcountryalliance.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.