Water quality training May 22 in Lufkin will focus on area water resources

LUFKIN – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality related to the La Nana Bayou, Angelina and middle Neches Rivers will be held from 8 a.m.-noon on May 22.

The workshop will be held at The Silo, 206 E. Groesbeck Ave. in Lufkin. It will be presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in cooperation with the Texas Water Resources Institute, or TWRI.

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

Testing for water quality in the Neches River. (Texas Water Resources Institute 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 https://tws.tamu.edu.

The workshop will include a discussion on 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 with an emphasis on area water quality,” said Cary Sims, AgriLife Extension agent for Angelina County. “It will address issues related to local water resources but will be applicable to all waters in the region.”

“Various segments and tributaries of the La Nana Bayou, Angelina and middle Neches Rivers are on the state list of impaired waters,” said Anna Gitter, TWRI research assistant, College Station. “Therefore, we are inviting the public to not only learn about water quality management, but also how they may become involved, including implementing science-based best management practices in their homes and at their jobs.”

Attendees of the workshop will receive a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion.

Four continuing education units/credits are offered for the following categories: certified crop advisers, professional engineers and certified planners, certified teachers, professional geoscientists, certified floodplain managers, and in the following Texas Commission on Environmental Quality occupational licensees: wastewater system operators, public water system operators, on-site sewage facility installers, and landscape irrigators.

In addition, three general continuing education units are offered for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license-holders, and two credits for nutrient management specialists.

“Participating in the Texas Watershed Steward program is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference in your watershed,” Sims said.

Funding for this effort 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 Sims at 936-634-6414, ext. 2, cw-sims@tamu.edu.

For information on watershed protection efforts for both the Angelina and middle Neches River watersheds, contact Gitter at anna.gitter@ag.tamu.edu.

For information on watershed protection efforts in the La Nana Bayou watershed, contact Edward Rhodes at edward.rhodes@ag.tamu.edu.

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Contacts: Cary Sims, 936-634-6414, ext. 2, cw-sims@tamu.edu

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

Anna Gitter, anna.gitter@ag.tamu.edu

Ed Rhodes, edward.rhodes@ag.tamu.edu

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