Conservation Matters September 2014

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Riparian and stream ecosystem workshop set for Oct. 8 in Corpus Christi

Riparian and stream ecosystem workshop set for Oct. 8 in Corpus Christi

The Texas Water Resources Institute’s (TWRI) Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a workshop 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 8 in Corpus Christi for residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Lower Nueces River, Petronila Creek and Oso Creek watersheds.

The free one-day workshop is being co-hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Nueces County, Nueces River Authority and Coastal Bend Bays Foundation.

The morning session will be at the Hilltop Community Center at 11425 Leopard St.

Afternoon activities will include an outdoor walk along the Lower Nueces River and presentations at Hazel Bazemore Park, located at Farm-to-Market Road 624 at County Road 69.

Nikki Dictson, TWRI and AgriLife Extension program specialist and coordinator of the program, said multiple water quality improvement projects are being conducted around Corpus Christi.

“This workshop is for anyone interested in learning about the importance of riparian areas in those watersheds,” Dictson said.

She said the goals of watershed protection planning and implementation are to improve water quality for drinking and recreation, protect habitat for wildlife, enhance awareness and promote stewardship through stakeholder engagement, as well as improve aesthetics and environmental integrity to improve quality of life.

The training will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones as well as the benefits and economic impacts from proper functioning riparian systems, Dictson said.

“A riparian zone is the land area adjacent to the bank of a stream, creek or river. A properly functioning riparian system is a river’s first line of defense from pollutants.”

Dictson said workshop topics will include riparian and watershed management principles, water quality, riparian vegetation, hindrances to healthy riparian areas, stream processes, management practices and local resources.

Workshop presentations will be given by representatives from TWRI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, AgriLife Extension, the Nueces River Authority and the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation.

“The goal is for participants to better understand riparian and watershed processes, see the benefits of healthy riparian areas and know what resources are available to prevent degradation while improving water quality,” Dictson said.

RSVP is required for the workshop, and a catered lunch is offered for $10 cash on the day of the event. Attendees may also elect to bring their own lunch, as the program includes a lunchtime presentation.

Attendees must RSVP by Oct. 3 to Dictson at 979.458.5915 or n-dictson@tamu.edu, or online at texasriparian.org/trainings/upcoming-training-locations.

Jason Ott, AgriLife Extension agent for Nueces County, said participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates at the conclusion of the training.

The workshop offers over five types of continuing education units including three units — two general and one integrated pest management — for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders. It offers one unit from TWRI, and six hours for Texas Nutrient Management Planning specialists. The program may also be used for continuing education units for professional engineers.

The riparian education program is managed by TWRI, and it is funded through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information, contact Dictson or visit texasriparian.org.

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