Water quality training March 7 in Bryan will focus on Navasota River

Contact: Dusty Tittle, 979-823-0129, dusty.tittle@ag.tamu.edu

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

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

BRYAN – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality related to the Navasota River will be held from 1-5 p.m. March 7 at the Stella Hotel Celeste Ballroom, 4100 Lake Atlas Drive in Bryan.

The 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. The training 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.

A training on water quality related to the Navasota River will be March 7 in Bryan. (Texas Watershed Steward photo)

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

Coordinators said this in-person workshop will be recorded by Texas A&M AgriLife Communications and later incorporated into an online course, so video consent forms will be available to attendees.

Kuitu said the workshop will include an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, but will primarily focus on area water quality issues, including efforts to help improve and protect the Navasota River. The workshop will address issues related to the Navasota but will be applicable to all waters in the region.

The training 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.

“Various segments and tributaries of the Navasota River are on the state list of impaired waters for elevated levels of bacteria,” said Lucas Gregory, principal investigator for the Texas Water Resources Institute, based in College Station. The impairments first appeared on that list in 2002.

“The supportive role the Navasota River plays regarding regional water supplies, wildlife habitat and agriculture is vital,” said Dusty Tittle, AgriLife Extension agent for Brazos County. “It is a truly important water resource.”

Tittle said he wants to encourage local residents and other stakeholders to attend the workshop to gain more information about water resources and water quality improvement and protection.

Attendees of the workshop 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 advisors, 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. Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists may also earn continuing education.

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

The Texas Watershed Steward program is funded through a Clean Water Act §319(h) 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 or contact Kuitu at 979-862-4457, mkuitu@tamu.edu; or Tittle at 979-823-0129, dusty.tittle@ag.tamu.edu.

For more information about watershed protection efforts for the Navasota River, contact Gregory at 979-845-7869, lfgregory@ag.tamu.edu.


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