Coordinating Implementation of the Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan
T. Broad, T. Arsuffi, M. Schramm
The Upper Llano River (North and South Llano rivers) is currently a healthy ecosystem supporting a variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, as well as numerous recreational opportunities. However, a number of threats to this critical resource do exist. To address these threats, local stakeholders, through the Upper Llano River Watershed Coordination Committee developed a watershed protection plan (WPP). A WPP for the Upper Llano River above Junction was completed in early 2016 and received final acceptance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in October, 2016. A full-time watershed coordinator position was considered critical in initiating and carrying out the implementation process by the watershed coordination committee. The watershed coordinator has provided technical assistance to stakeholders, acquired additional funding for implementation strategies, coordinated outreach and education efforts, and monitored water quality data to identify if implementation efforts have been successful. Over the last two years the watershed coordinator has requested over $4 million and has received over $2 million in program funds for implementation efforts in the Upper Llano WPP. Education and Outreach efforts over the last two years included more than 30 workshops, field days, and presentations. Watershed curricula created as part of the WPP implementation through the Llano River Field Station Outdoor School was delivered to 64 Independent School Districts across the region.