Water quality training Dec.7 in La Vernia

Focus will be on mid and lower Cibolo Creek watershed areas

Contacts: Bryan Davis, 830-393-7357, bryan.davis@ag.tamu.edu

Clare Entwistle, 210-277-0292, ext.110, clare.entwistle@ag.tamu.edu

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

LA VERNIA – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality related to the mid and lower Cibolo Creek watershed area will be from 8 a.m.-noon Dec. 7 at the La Vernia Chamber of Commerce Hall, 12301 W. U.S. Highway 87 in La Vernia.

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 and San Antonio River Authority. Anyone interested in improving water quality in the region is encouraged to participate, coordinators said.

A Texas Watershed Steward workshop related to mid and lower Cibolo Creek watershed areas will be held Dec. 7 in La Vernia. (Texas A&M Water Resources Institute photo)

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

Preregistration is encouraged online at http://tws.tamu.edu. A free breakfast sponsored by the river authority will be provided to attendees who preregister by Dec. 5.

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 a group discussion on community-driven watershed protection and management.

Bryan Davis, AgriLife Extension agent in Wilson 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 the Mid and Lower Cibolo.

“The Cibolo Creek watershed begins north and east of San Antonio and flows for 90 miles toward the gulf before discharging into the San Antonio River.” said institute project manager Clare Entwistle, San Antonio. “At present, the lower Cibolo Creek is listed by the state of Texas as impaired, because elevated levels of E. coli are being reported above the state’s contact recreation standard in that portion of the creek. Therefore, TWRI and SARA are working to bring together local stakeholders to develop a watershed protection plan.”

Entwistle said the plan will not only aim to mitigate the bacteria impairment in the lower Cibolo Creek watershed, but also address concerns such as excess nutrients and depressed concentrations of dissolved oxygen in both the mid and lower Cibolo Creek.

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. 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,” Davis said.

Funding for this effort is provided through a federal Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant administered by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information on the Texas Watershed Steward program and to preregister, go to the website or contact Kuitu at 979-862-4457, mkuitu@tamu.edu, or Davis at 830-393-7357, bryan.davis@ag.tamu.edu.

For information on watershed protection efforts for the mid and lower Cibolo watershed, contact Entwistle at 210-277-0292 ext.110, clare.entwistle@ag.tamu.edu.

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