Water quality training Dec. 8 will focus on Plum Creek

A Texas Watershed Steward program on Plum creek will be presented Dec. 5 in Lockhart. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

A Texas Watershed Steward program on Plum Creek will be presented on Dec. 8 at the First Lockhart Baptist Church Connection Center. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

LOCKHART – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality and water management related to Plum Creek will be held from 12:30-5 p.m. Dec. 8 at the First Lockhart Baptist Church Connection Center, 200 S. Blanco St. in Lockhart.

The workshop is presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.

The training is free and open to anyone interested in improving water quality in the region, said program coordinators. Participants are encouraged to preregister at the Texas Watershed Steward website at http://tws.tamu.edu.

Lunch will be provided at 12:30 p.m. for attendees who preregister by Dec. 4, and the program will begin at 1 p.m. Alternative lunch options based on dietary restrictions can be requested by calling 979-862-4457.

“This training 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.

Kuitu said the workshop will include an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, but will primarily focus on area water quality issues, including current efforts to help improve and protect the Plum Creek watershed.

“The workshop will address issues related to Plum Creek but will be applicable to all waters in the region,” he said.

The training 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 importance of Plum Creek is evident in regards to recreation, wildlife habitat, freshwater flows, stormwater management, aesthetics and more. It truly is a vital resource,” said Nick Dornak, watershed coordinator for the Plum Creek watershed, based in Lockhart.

“Participating in the Texas Watershed Steward program is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference in your watershed while receiving program materials and even continuing education credits at no cost,” said Michael Haynes, AgriLife Extension agent for Caldwell County.

Attendees will receive a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion. The program offers four continuing education units in soil and water management for certified crop advisers, 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 licensed by the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists.

The training also offers three general continuing education units for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders, four for certified landscape architects and three for certified floodplain managers. Lastly, four continuing education credits are 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.

Kuitu encouraged local residents and other stakeholders to attend the workshop to gain more information about water resources and water quality improvement and protection.

For more information and to preregister, go to http://tws.tamu.edu or contact Kuitu at 979-862-4457, mkuitu@tamu.edu, or Haynes at 512-398-3122, michael.haynes@ag.tamu.edu.

For more information about watershed protection efforts for the Plum Creek watershed, contact Dornak at 512-213-7389, ndornak@plumcreekwatershed.org.

The Texas Watershed Steward program is funded through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Source: Agriculture

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