Evaluation and Demonstration of BMPs for Cattle on Grazing Lands for the Lone Star Healthy Streams Program
K. Wagner, L. Redmon, T. Gentry, C. Clary
According to the 2008 Texas Water Quality Inventory and 303(d) List, recreation is impaired in 274 waterbody segments and oyster harvest is impaired in another 21 due to bacteria. One of the primary strategies for reducing bacteria in many of these waterbodies is to provide technical and financial assistance to implement best management practices (BMPs) to reduce bacteria runoff from cattle on grazing lands. In order to inspire behavior change, evaluations and demonstrations of BMP effectiveness are needed to encourage voluntary implementation of BMPs and participation in federal and state technical and financial assistance programs designed to reduce bacterial runoff ultimately improve water quality.
The goal of this project was to reduce bacterial contamination caused by grazing livestock in Texas waterbodies through evaluation and demonstration of BMP effectiveness in reducing bacteria runoff from grazing lands. This BMP effectiveness data then served as the scientific-basis for the Lone Star Healthy Streams education program (grazing cattle component). Lone Star Healthy Streams programs and other outreach and technology transfer were utilized to increase voluntary implementation of BMPs and participation in federal and state technical and financial assistance programs by providing landowners with feasible options for addressing sources of bacteria through education programs based on the evaluation and demonstration of BMP effectiveness.