Public invited to water quality meetings in Woodville, Jasper

There will be meetings on Nov, 21 in Woodville and Jasper related to water quality in Sandy Creek and Wolf Creek. (Texas Water Resources Institute photo)

The Texas Water Resources Institute, or TWRI, in collaboration with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, will host meetings Nov. 21 in Woodville and Jasper for anyone interested in joining a partnership to improve and protect water quality in the Sandy and Wolf creeks.

The first meeting will be at 1 p.m. at 201 Veteran’s Way in Woodville. The second will be at 3:30 p.m. at the Jasper County Courthouse Annex, 271 E. Lamar St. in Jasper.

TWRI is part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

The meetings are the first in a series with local stakeholders to address water quality impairments in Sandy Creek and Wolf Creek.

Lucas Gregory, Ph.D., TWRI senior research scientist, College Station, said both water bodies fail to meet state water quality standards for contact recreation. The elevated levels of bacteria, such as E. coli, which are found in human and animal waste, may indicate increased health risk for people who swim or play in the stream.

Gregory said through a project it manages, TWRI will work with local landowners, agricultural producers, residents and other stakeholders to develop a plan comprised of strategies to reduce bacteria and other pollutants in the local waterways.

“At the meetings, we will discuss relevant water quality data and present an overview of partnership structures, strategies and examples of different approaches for addressing water quality issues,” he said.

Michael Schramm, TWRI research specialist, College Station, said organizing a watershed partnership with interested stakeholders are the meetings’ main purpose.

“The goal of the partnership is to develop a plan for improving water quality and reducing bacteria levels in the creeks,” he said. “Getting local involvement from interested individuals and developing a voluntary plan of action is the first step to successfully improving and protecting water quality.”

For more information, visit the project website or contact Schramm at 979-458-9191 or michael.schramm@ag.tamu.edu.

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