New Waves March 2008

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

Team meets to promote stream restoration

Central Texas Stream Team (CTCS), a voluntary and interdisciplinary group of experts formed to develop and promote strategies and solutions for protection and restoration of Central Texas rivers and streams, recently held its first meeting in Temple.

More than 80 attended the daylong March 13 meeting that was directed toward city engineers, planners and developers, said Lisa Prcin, research assistant at Texas AgriLife Research Blackland Research and Extension Center at Temple. Prcin said the meeting drew professionals from Forth Worth, San Antonio and Austin in addition to Central Texas.

The attendees heard presentations from CTST members on stream processes and natural stream design as well as case studies from professionals involved in completed or on-going restoration projects.

Jason McAlister, research assistant at the Blackland center, said the voluntary team is available to provide informal evaluation of stream processes, advice and/or review of site plans. The stream team will focus on providing technical advice on alternative river and stream management practices, as well education and promotion of nonstructural stream modification to the stakeholder, landowner, official or developer.

"Although the Central Texas Stream Team's recommendations are advisory only (non-regulatory), the advice can often times make future compliance easier," McAlister said. "Recommendations may show up again on review letters from participating agencies where permits are required."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funds the team through a Wetland Program Development grant. Dr. Dennis Hoffman, senior research scientist at the Blackland center, is principal investigator. Other members of the team are Russell Castro, Jon Fripp, Kenneth Mayben and Jim Kelly of U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service; Jim Herrington, of EPA, David Madden of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Tom Heger of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. McAlister and Prcin are also involved in the project.

"The purpose of the grant is to promote stewardship of streams- stream restoration, stream protection, stream education," Hoffman said.

For more information on the team, e-mail streamteam@brc.tamus.edu or call the Blackland center at 254.774.6000.

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