Water quality training March 6 in Harker Heights will focus on Nolan Creek

Contacts: Lyle Zoeller, 254-933-5305, lyle.zoeller@ag.tamu.edu

Leah Taylor, 254-968-0513, ltaylor@tarleton.edu

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

HARKER HEIGHTS – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality related to Nolan Creek will be held from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on March 6 at the Harker Heights Activities Center, 400 Indian Trail.

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

The workshop will be presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in cooperation with the Texas Institute of Applied Environmental Research at Tarleton State University and Nolan Creek/South Nolan Creek Watershed Partnership.

Nolan Creek. (Texas Watershed Steward photo)

“This workshop 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.

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

The workshop 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.

“The workshop will provide an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, but will primarily focus on area water quality, including current efforts to improve and protect Nolan Creek,” said Lyle Zoeller, AgriLife Extension agent for Bell County. “It will address issues related to local water resources but will be applicable to all waters in the region.”

Nolan Creek extends from its headwaters Northwest of Killeen to its confluence with the Leon River just South of Belton.

“Having historically been used for recreation, Nolan Creek is a vital part of this area. Improving the health of Nolan Creek has been the number one goal of the Nolan Creek partnership,” said Leah Taylor, project manager for the institute’s Nolan Creek Watershed Protection Plan.

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, onsite sewage facility installers and landscape irrigators.

Funding is provided through a federal Clean Water Act 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; or Zoeller at 254-933-5305, lyle.zoeller@ag.tamu.edu.

For information on watershed protection efforts for the Nolan Creek watershed, contact Taylor at 254-968-0513 or ltaylor@tarleton.edu, or visit the project website at http://www.nolancreekwpp.com.

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