Water quality training Nov. 7 in Nacogdoches to focus on Attoyac Bayou watershed

Ricky Thompson, 936-560-7711, ricky.thompson@ag.tamu.edu

Lucas Gregory, 979-845-7869, lfgregory@ag.tamu.edu

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

NACOGDOCHES – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality related to the Attoyac Bayou watershed will be from 1-5 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Nacogdoches County Exposition and Civic Center, 3805 N.W. Stallings Drive, Nacogdoches.

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

A Texas Watershed Steward workshop focused on the Attoyac Bayou watershed will be held Nov. 7 in Nacogdoches. (Texas Watershed Steward program photo)

“This workshop is designed to assist watershed residents in improving and protecting their water resources by becoming involved in watershed protection and management activities for Attoyac Bayou,” said Michael Kuitu, AgriLife Extension program specialist and coordinator for the Texas Watershed Steward program, College Station.

Kuitu said the workshop 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 discussion on community-driven watershed protection and management.

Ricky Thompson, AgriLife Extension agent, Nacogdoches County, said the workshop will include an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, but will primarily focus on area water quality, including current efforts to help improve and protect Attoyac Bayou.

“The Attoyac Bayou flows more than 80 miles through Rusk, Nacogdoches, San Augustine and Shelby counties on its way to Sam Rayburn Reservoir,” said TWRI principal investigator Lucas Gregory, College Station. “At present, Attoyac Bayou is listed by the state of Texas as impaired, but the Attoyac Bayou Watershed Partnership has developed a watershed protection plan that is now being implemented to improve water quality across the watershed.”

The Attoyac Bayou Watershed Protection Plan was developed by the Attoyac Bayou Watershed Partnership in collaboration with the Angelina and Neches River Authority, Pineywoods Resource Conservation and Development Council, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and the TWRI.

Attendees will receive a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion. The Texas Watershed Steward 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.

In addition, three general continuing education units are offered for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders, and four for certified landscape architects. Four continuing education credits are provided to certified floodplain managers. Four continuing education credits are also 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.

“Participating in the Texas Watershed Steward program is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference in your watershed,” Gregory said.

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.

For more information on the Texas Watershed Steward program and to preregister, go to the website http://tws.tamu.edu or contact Kuitu at 979-862-4457, mkuitu@tamu.edu; or Thompson at 936-560-7711, ricky.thompson@ag.tamu.edu.

For information on watershed protection efforts for the Attoyac Bayou watershed, contact Gregory at 979-845-7869, lfgregory@ag.tamu.edu.

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