Water quality training Dec. 11 in Jonesboro to focus on Leon River

Contacts: Bruce Boyd, 254-386-3919, bruce.boyd@ag.tamu.edu

Robert Ferguson, 254-865-2414, robert.ferguson@ag.tamu.edu

Andy James, 254-223-3056, andy.james@tamu.edu

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

JONESBORO – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality related to the Leon River will be held from 1-5 p.m. Dec.11 at the Jonesboro Community Center, 11625 Texas  Highway 36 in Jonesboro.

It is free and open to anyone interested in improving water quality in the region.

A Texas Watershed Steward workshop related to water quality in the Leon River will be held Dec. 11 in Jonesboro. (Texas Watershed Steward program photo)

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 A&M Natural Resources Institute.

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

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

The workshop will include a discussion of watershed systems, types and sources of water pollution as well as ways to improve and protect water quality. There also will be a group discussion on community-driven watershed protection and management.

“The workshop will include an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, but will primarily focus on area water quality, including current efforts to help improve and protect the Leon River,” said Bruce Boyd, AgriLife Extension agent for Hamilton County.  “It will address issues related to local water resources but will be applicable to all waters in the region.”

Surface water in the Leon River is a critical source of water in the area, said Andy James, project coordinator with the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute who is based in Gatesville.

“Our goal is to protect and improve water quality in the Leon by providing technical assistance and high-quality education to citizens, landowners, and agricultural producers about water quality management practices,” James said.

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.

“Participating in the Texas Watershed Steward program is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference in your watershed,” said Robert Ferguson, AgriLife Extension agent for Coryell County.

Funding for this effort is provided through a federal Clean Water Act §319(h) 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 the website or contact Kuitu at 979-862-4457, mkuitu@tamu.edu; Boyd at 254-386-3919, bruce.boyd@ag.tamu.edu; or Ferguson at 254-865-2414, robert.ferguson@ag.tamu.edu .

For information on watershed protection efforts for the Leon River watershed, contact James at 254-223-3056, andy.james@tamu.edu.

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