Riparian and stream ecosystem workshop set for May 13 in Kerrville

KERRVILLE — The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a workshop from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. May 13 in Kerrville for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Upper Guadalupe watershed.

A will be held in on May 12 in Kerrville

A Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem  Education Program will be held May 13 in and around Kerrville. (Photo courtesy of Texas Water Resources institute)

The free workshop is co-hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Kerr County and the Upper Guadalupe River Authority.

The morning session will be held at the Upper Guadalupe River Authority Lecture Hall, 125 Lehmann Drive in Kerrville, and the afternoon session will include an outdoor stream walk along the river.

“The goal of this project is to keep recreation safe in this segment of the river by reducing bacteria levels,” said Tara Bushnoe, Upper Guadalupe River Authority natural resources coordinator.

Water quality testing conducted prior to 2011 indicated concentrations of bacteria are sometimes too high in a segment of the Guadalupe River above Canyon Lake, she said.

“The adopted total maximum daily load and the approved implementation plan together are the roadmap to improving water quality in the river,” Bushnoe said. “High concentrations of fecal bacteria, naturally found in both human and animal waste, may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the river.”

“The workshop training 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,” said Nikki Dictson, Texas Water Resources Institute AgriLife Extension program specialist and coordinator of the program.

A riparian zone is the land area adjacent to the bank of a stream, creek or river.

Dictson said workshop topics will include riparian and watershed management principles, water quality, riparian vegetation, hindrances to healthy riparian areas, stream processes, management practices and local resources.

She said program presentations will be given by representatives of the Texas Water Resources Institute, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, AgriLife Extension and the Upper Guadalupe River Authority.

“The goal is for participants to better understand riparian and watershed processes, see the benefits of healthy riparian areas and know what resources are available to prevent degradation while improving water quality,” Dictson said.

An RSVP is required for the workshop and the free catered lunch sponsored by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust. Attendees may also elect to bring their own lunch, as the program includes a lunchtime presentation.

Attendees must RSVP by May 8 to Dictson at 979-458-5915 or n-dictson@tamu.edu, or online at http://texasriparian.org/trainings/upcoming-training-locations/.

Roy Walston, AgriLife Extension agent for Kerr County, said participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates at the conclusion of the training.

The workshop offers several types of continuing education units including 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, six hours from the Texas Forestry Association, 5.5 hours from the Society of American Foresters and six hours for Texas Nutrient Management Planning specialists. The program may also be used for continuing education units for professional engineers.

The riparian education program is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research,  AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University. It is funded through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information, contact Dictson or visit  http://texasriparian.org.

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