Water quality training March 25 in Dublin will focus on Leon River

DUBLIN – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality and availability issues related to the Leon River will be held from 1-5 p.m. March 25 at the Rotary Building, 126 E. Blackjack St. in Dublin.

The Texas Watershed Steward program will focus on the Leon River. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

The free Texas Watershed Steward program March 25 will focus on improving water quality in Leon River and the surrounding area. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

The workshop is presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in cooperation with the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.

The training is free and open to anyone interested in improving water quality in the Leon River and surrounding area, said program coordinators.

Participants are encouraged to preregister at the Texas Watershed Steward website at http://tws.tamu.edu.

“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 Lonnie Jenschke, AgriLife Extension agent for Erath County.

“The workshop will include an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas and will primarily focus on water quality issues relating to the Leon River, including current efforts to help improve and protect the health of important area water sources,” said Michael Kuitu, AgriLife Extension program specialist and coordinator for the Texas Watershed Steward program, College Station.

The training 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 Leon River is a critical source of water in the area,” said Mike Marshall, AgriLife Extension associate with the Institute for Renewable Natural Resources and watershed coordinator for the Leon River, based in Gatesville. “Our goal is to protect and improve water quality in the Leon by providing technical assistance and high quality education to citizens, landowners, and agricultural producers about water quality management practices.”

Coordinators said the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and Brazos River Authority are working in partnership with the Institute for Renewable Natural Resources and Texas Water Resources Institute to implement a stakeholder-driven watershed protection plan. The plan is focused on reducing pollution and improving water quality in the Leon River.

Marshall said the plan outlines several best management practices, which will reduce pollution in the watershed and potentially lower the bacteria levels in the Leon.

Along with the training, participants receive a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion. The program offers four continuing education units in soil and water management for certified crop advisers, four for professional engineers, professional geoscientists and certified planners, and four credits for certified teachers. It also offers three general continuing education units for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders, four 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,” Kuitu said.

For more information and to preregister, go to http://tws.tamu.edu or contact Kuitu at 979-862-4457, Michael.kuitu@ag.tamu.edu, or Jenschke at 254-965-1460, l-jenschke@tamu.edu. For information about the Leon River Watershed Protection Plan, contact Marshall at 512-461-6217 or mmarshall@ag.tamu.edu.

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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