Cedar Bayou water quality training rescheduled for Feb. 8

Contacts: Tyler Fitzgerald, 409-374-2123, tsfitzgerald@ag.tamu.edu

Justin Bower, 713-499-6653, justin.bower@h-gac.com

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

MONT BELVIEU – Due to inclement weather, the Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality related to the Cedar Bayou originally scheduled for Jan. 17 is postponed to Feb. 8, program coordinators said.

“The rescheduled workshop time and location will be the same; only the date will be different,” said Michael Kuitu, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and coordinator for the Texas Watershed Steward program, College Station.

The rescheduled program will be from 1-5 p.m. at the Don McLeod Recreation Center, 10717 Langston Drive in Mont Belvieu.

The workshop is presented by AgriLife Extension and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in cooperation with the Houston-Galveston Area Council.

“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 Cedar Bayou,” Kuitu said.  “It is free and open to anyone interested in improving water quality in the region.”

Participants are encouraged to preregister at the Texas Watershed Steward website at  https://tws.tamu.edu.

The agenda 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.

Tyler Fitzgerald, AgriLife Extension agent for Chambers 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 ongoing efforts to help improve and protect Cedar Bayou.

“The workshop will address issues related to local water resources but will be applicable to all waters in the region,” he said.

Area council watershed coordinator Justin Bower said Cedar Bayou is a critical resource for the area.

“Cedar Bayou feeds into Galveston Bay and supports oyster production, commercial fishing and other economic activity,” Bower said. “Its estuaries are critical wildlife habitat area, and it’s a popular recreational waterway.”

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.

Additionally, 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,” Fitzgerald 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  https://tws.tamu.edu or contact Kuitu at 979-862-4457, mkuitu@tamu.edu;  or Fitzgerald at 409-374-2123, tsfitzgerald@ag.tamu.edu.

For information on Cedar Bayou watershed protection efforts, contact Bower at 713-499-6653, justin.bower@h-gac.com.

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