The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI)’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a workshop from 8:45 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Dec. 7 in Kenedy for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Lower San Antonio River watershed.
The morning session will be at the Kenedy City Auditorium, 303 W. Main St. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the river, near the auditorium.
The workshop is free and open to the public. It is co-hosted locally by the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Karnes County.
“The Riparian and Stream Ecosystem workshop is being brought to this area in connection with the new Texas Gulf Coast Stream and Wetland Initiative, funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) program,” said Nikki Dictson, TWRI program specialist.
According to Aarin Teague, senior engineer for SARA, the Texas Gulf Coast Stream and Wetland Initiative is an innovative and large-scale effort to improve the water quality, water quantity and soil health and reduce erosion throughout the 54-county area.
Teague said SARA has partnered with the Resource Institute of North Carolina to provide match for this initiative within the river authority’s four-county jurisdiction that includes Bexar, Wilson, Karnes and Goliad counties.
“SARA is looking to partner with landowners willing to participate in stream stabilization projects for this initiative,” Teague said.
Dictson said the workshop 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.
“Riparian areas — the green vegetated land area adjacent to the bank of a stream, creek, bayou, river or lake — are unique and important ecosystems that provide many benefits including habitat and forage,” Dictson said. “The goal of the workshop is for participants to better understand riparian and watershed processes, the benefits of healthy riparian areas and what resources are available to prevent degradation while improving water quality.”
Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of the TWRI, USDA’s NRCS, AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service and SARA.
The program will include a lunchtime presentation with boxed lunches sponsored by SARA. All attendees must RSVP by Nov. 30 to Dictson at 979-458-5915 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at texasriparian.org/trainings/upcoming-training-locations
Dictson said they are able to offer the workshop without cost thanks to program funding provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Meagan Dennison, AgriLife Extension family and consumer sciences agent for Karnes County, said participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates at the conclusion of the training.
The workshop offers many types of continuing education units, including three units — two general and one integrated pest management — for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders. Foresters and professional loggers can receive six hours from the Texas Forestry Association and 6.5 hours from Society of American Foresters. It offers one unit from the Texas Water Resources Institute, seven credits from Texas Floodplain Management Association, seven hours for Certified Crop Advisors, seven hours from Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying, and six hours for Texas Nutrient Management Planning specialists. The program may also be used for continuing education units for professional engineers.