Water quality training Oct. 4 will focus on Lake O’ the Pines, Big Cypress watersheds

Contacts: Michael Kuitu, 979-862-4457, mkuitu@tamu.edu

Doug Weir, 903-665-2421, doug.weir@ag.tamu.edu

Randy Reeves, 903-236-8429, dr-reeves@tamu.edu

JEFFERSON – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality and water management related to the Lake O’ the Pines and Big Cypress watersheds will be held from 8 a.m.-noon Oct. 4 at the Jefferson Tourism and Visitor Center, 305 E. Austin St. in Jefferson.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in cooperation with Texas A&M AgriLife Research are sponsors.

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

A Texas Watershed Steward program on Lake O' the Pines watersheds will be held

A Texas Watershed Steward workshop will be held Oct. 4 in Jefferson. (Texas Watershed Steward photo)

“We are able to offer this necessary training without cost throughout the state thanks to program funding,” said Michael Kuitu, AgriLife Extension program specialist and coordinator for the Texas Watershed Steward program, College Station. “The 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.”

Randy Reeves, AgriLife Extension agent for Gregg County, said training will include an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, but will primarily focus on area water quality issues, including current and future efforts to help improve and protect the Lake O’ the Pines and Big Cypress watersheds. It also will include a discussion of watershed systems, types and sources of water pollution, and ways to improve and protect water quality. Additionally, there will be group discussion on community driven watershed protection and management.

Doug Weir, AgriLife Extension agent for Marion County, said attendees will receive a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion along with other benefits.

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 available for professional geoscientists licensed by the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists.

There are also three general continuing education units for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders, four for certified landscape architects, and three for certified floodplain managers. 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.

Weir encouraged 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, mkuitu@tamu.edu; Doug Weir at 903-665-2421, doug.weir@ag.tamu.edu; or Randy Reeves at 903-236-8429, dr-reeves@tamu.edu.

For information about the Lake O’ the Pines or Big Cypress watersheds and efforts to improve and protect them, contact Larry Beran at 254-968-4144, extension 230 or lberan@ag.tamu.edu.

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