Water quality training Sept. 9 in Rancho Viejo will focus on the Brownsville-Resaca watersheds

RANCHO VIEJO – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality issues related to the Brownsville-Resaca watersheds will be held from 8 a.m.-noon Sept. 9 at the Rancho Viejo Resort and Country Club, 1 Rancho Viejo Drive.

A Texas Watershed Steward program will be held Sept. 9 in Rancho Viejo.  (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

A Texas Watershed Steward program on water quality in the Brownsville-Resaca watershed will be held Sept. 9 at the Rancho Viejo Resort and Country Club. (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 Water Resources Institute.

The training is free to anyone interested in improving water quality in the region. Participants are encouraged to preregister at the Texas Watershed Steward website at http://tws.tamu.edu.

“This training is designed to help watershed residents improve and protect their water resources by becoming involved in local watershed protection and management activities,” said Michael Kuitu, AgriLife Extension program specialist and coordinator for the Texas Watershed Steward program, College Station.

Kuitu said the workshop will include an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, but will primarily focus on area water quality issues, including current efforts to help improve and protect the Brownsville-Resaca watershed. The workshop will address issues related to the Brownsville-Resaca watershed but will be applicable to all waters in the region.

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.

“The supportive role local resacas play in regard to wildlife habitat, fresh water storage, storm water management, recreation, aesthetics and the surrounding cities in general are vital,” said Jaime Flores, Texas Water Resources Institute program coordinator for the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan Implementation project.They are truly important water features.”

“Participating in the Texas Watershed Steward program is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference in your watershed while receiving program materials and even continuing education credits at no cost,” said Dr. Enrique Perez, AgriLife Extension agent for Cameron County.

Attendees of the training will 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 units for professional engineers and certified planners, four credits for certified teachers and two credits for nutrient management specialists.

A total of four professional development hours are suggested for professional geoscientists licensed by the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. 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. Lastly, four continuing education credits are offered for each of the following: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality occupational licensees, wastewater system operators, public water system operators, on-site sewage facility installers and landscape irrigators.

Perez said he wants to encourage local residents and other stakeholders to attend the workshop to gain more information about water resources and water quality improvement and protection.

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 Perez at 956-361-8236, eperez@ag.tamu.edu.

For more information about watershed protection efforts for the Brownsville-Resaca, contact Flores at 956-969-5607, jjflores@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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