Contacts: Clare Entwistle, 210-277-0292 ext. 205, Clare.Entwistle@ag.tamu.edu
Marshall Trigg, 512-578-3315, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Balboa, 979-245-4100, email@example.com
BAY CITY – The Texas Water Resources Institute, or TWRI, will host a free workshop from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. May 8 for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Tres Palacios Creek and Lower Colorado River watersheds.
The morning session of the Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will be at the Matagorda County Nature and Birding Center, 1025 Texas Highway 35 in Bay City. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the Lower Colorado River.
Clare Entwistle, research associate at TWRI’s San Antonio office, said the workshop is co-hosted locally by the Lower Colorado River Authority, Colorado River Land Trust and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Matagorda County.
The program will include a lunchtime presentation. The Colorado River Land Trust and the Lower Colorado River Authority will sponsor a catered lunch or participants may bring their own.
Marshall Trigg, the river authority’s conservation coordinator, will discuss the Creekside Conservation and Land Stewardship Program, which works to protect the Lower Colorado River watershed by providing education, technical assistance and financial incentives to landowners.
Michael Schramm, TWRI research associate and project manager for the Tres Palacios Watershed Protection Plan, said the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality designated the tidal portion of the Tres Palacios Creek watershed as impaired due to the elevated bacterial concentrations. TWRI along with local stakeholders have developed a watershed protection plan to reduce bacterial concentrations and improve water quality in the Tres Palacios Creek.
Entwistle said proper management, protection and restoration of these areas directly influences water quality and quantity, plus stabilizes stream banks and improves fish and aquatic habitats and communities.
“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,” she said.
Schramm said stakeholders recognize successful implementation of a watershed protection plan requires implementing a variety of management strategies.
“The riparian and stream workshop is an educational event supporting this effort,” he said.
Entwistle said they are able to offer the workshop without cost thanks 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.
Bill Balboa, AgriLife Extension agent for Matagorda 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. 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.
The riparian education program is managed by the TWRI, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.