Contacts: Clare Entwistle, 210-277-0292 ext. 205, Clare.Entwistle@ag.tamu.edu
Michelle Wood-Ramirez, 817-720-4552, firstname.lastname@example.org
Page Bishop, 903-654-3075, email@example.com
CORSICANA – The Texas Water Resources Institute, or TWRI, will host a free Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program workshop from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 19 in Corsicana for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Richland-Chambers Reservoir watershed.
The morning session will be at the Corsicana Public Library, 100 N. 12th St. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the reservoir area.
Clare Entwistle, research associate at the TWRI’s San Antonio office, said the workshop is co-hosted by the Tarrant Regional Water District, the city of Corsicana and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Navarro County.
The program will include a lunchtime presentation. The Tarrant Regional Water District will sponsor a catered lunch or participants may bring their own.
Entwistle said 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.
“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.
Richland-Chambers Lake watershed is located southeast of Dallas and encompasses almost 2,000 square miles. Similar to many reservoirs in the state, water quality in Richland-Chambers is affected by nutrient and sediment runoff from the watershed, which boosts algae growth and decreases water storage, according to Michelle Wood-Ramirez, Tarrant Regional Water District water specialist.
Wood-Ramirez said the water district is working with Texas A&M AgriLife Research to develop a stakeholder-driven watershed protection plan to address water quality concerns.
“Stakeholders recognize that successful implementation of a watershed protection plan requires implementing a variety of management strategies,” she said. “The riparian and stream workshop is an educational event supporting this effort.”
Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas A&M Forest Service, Tarrant Regional Water District, city of Corsicana and AgriLife Extension.
Entwistle said they are able to offer the workshop free 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.
Page Bishop, AgriLife Extension agent for Navarro 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.
The riparian education program is managed by the TWRI, part of AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.