Contacts: Clare Entwistle, 210-277-0292 ext. 205, Clare.Entwistle@ag.tamu.edu
Aarin Teague, 210-227-1373, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Yanta, 361-645-8204, email@example.com
GOLIAD–The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian Stream and Ecosystem Education Program will host a free workshop from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. April 25 in Goliad for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Mission, Aransas and Lower San Antonio watersheds.
The morning session will be at The Fire Pit, 144 N. Courthouse Square. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along Sulphur Creek.
Clare Entwistle, research associate at the institute’s San Antonio office, said the workshop is co-hosted by the San Antonio River Authority, Goliad County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Goliad County.
The program will include a lunchtime presentation. The San Antonio River Authority will sponsor a catered lunch or participants may bring their own.
Aarin Teague, senior engineer for the San Antonio River Authority, said the Lower San Antonio River and the tidal segments of the Mission and Aransas rivers are impaired due to levels of bacteria that exceed water quality standards. The Lower San Antonio River has an approved total maximum daily load project, which limits the daily amount of allowable bacteria.
Entwistle said the institute is currently working with local stakeholders in the Mission and Aransas rivers watershed to implement a total maximum daily load project that will determine how much bacteria can enter each water body on a daily basis and still meet water quality standards. She said the institute and local stakeholders now work to develop an “implementation plan for the Mission and Aransas watershed,” which outlines how to best address and rectify water quality impairment.
“Proper management, protection and restoration of these vital areas directly influences water quality and quantity, plus stabilizes stream banks and improves fish and aquatic habitats and communities,” Entwistle said.
She 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.
“Stakeholders recognize that successful implementation of a watershed protection plan requires implementing a variety of management strategies,” Teague said. “The riparian and stream workshop is an educational event supporting this effort.”
Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas A&M Forest Service, San Antonio River Authority, Texas A&M Natural Resource Institute, Texas Water Resources Institute and AgriLife Extension.
Entwistle said they are able to offer the workshop without cost to participate due 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.
Brian Yanta, AgriLife Extension agent, Goliad 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.