Contacts: Nikki Dictson, 979-575-4424, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cherrie Curtis, 903-628-6702, Cherrie.Curtis@ag.tamu.edu
Mike Buttram, 902-278-4069, email@example.com
TEXARKANA–The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a free workshop from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 31 in Texarkana for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Sulphur River Basin watershed.
The morning session will be at the Truman Arnold Student Center of Texarkana College, 2500 N. Robinson Road. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the river near the center.
The workshop is co-hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bowie County and the Sulphur River Basin Authority.
According to Dr. Mike Buttram of the Sulphur River Basin Authority’s Clean Rivers Program, Texarkana, the Sulphur River basin lies within 11 counties in northeast Texas and drains an area of 3,558 square miles.
Nikki Dictson, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, said the workshop 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.
“Riparian areas – the green vegetated land area adjacent to the bank of a stream, creek, bayou, river or lake – are unique and important ecosystems that provide many benefits including habitat and forage,” Dictson said. “The goal of the workshop is for participants to better understand riparian and watershed processes, the benefits of healthy riparian areas and what resources are available to prevent degradation while improving water quality.”
Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of the Texas Water Resources Institute, Sulphur River Basin Authority, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas A&M Forest Service.
All attendees must RSVP by Jan. 27 to Dictson at 979-458-5915 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at http://texasriparian.org/trainings/upcoming-training-locations/.
The program will include a lunchtime presentation. The river authority is providing a free meal or participants may bring their own lunch.
Dictson said they are able to offer the workshop without cost thanks to program funding provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Cherrie Curtis, AgriLife Extension agent for Bowie County, said participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates at the conclusion of the training.
The workshop offers many types of continuing education units, including three units — two general and one integrated pest management — for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders. Foresters and professional loggers can receive six hours from the Texas Forestry Association and six hours from the Society of American Foresters. It offers one unit from the Texas Water Resources Institute, seven credits from Texas Floodplain Management Association, seven hours for Certified Crop Advisors, seven hours from the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying 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.
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