Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration program workshop set for April 11 in Austin

The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration Program will host a workshop from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. April 11 in Austin for professionals interested in conducting stream restoration projects around the Austin area.

The urban riparian stream education program is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

The morning session will be at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Building F, Room 2210, 12100 Park 35 Circle. The afternoon session will be outdoors along Walnut Creek where attendees will learn stream surveying techniques.

The workshop is co-hosted locally by the dity of Austin Watershed Protection Department, the Hill Country Alliance and the AgriLife Extension office in Travis County.

Clare Entwistle, research associate at the institute’s San Antonio office, said attendees must register by April 9.

Individual registration is $100 and can be paid online. Cost includes all training materials, lunch and a certificate of completion at the end of the course. Attendees are encouraged to register early as the workshop is limited to 40 people.

“Riparian and stream degradation is a major threat to water quality, in-stream habitat, terrestrial wildlife, aquatic species and overall stream health,” said Dr. Fouad Jaber, AgriLife Extension program specialist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Dallas.

“Proper management, protection and restoration of these riparian areas will improve water quality, lower in-stream temperatures, improve aquatic habitat and ultimately improve macrobenthos and fish community integrity,” he said.

Jaber said the goal of the workshop is for participants to better understand urban stream functions and impacts of development on urban streams. It will also help them recognize healthy versus degraded stream systems, assess and classify a stream using the Bank Erosion Hazard Index, and comprehend differences between natural and traditional restoration techniques.

Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of the Texas Water Resources Institute, the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Dallas, the city of Austin Watershed Protection Department and the Hill Country Alliance.

Entwistle said the institute is able to offer the workshop at a reduced cost thanks to program funding provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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 and more credits are in the process of being added.

Foresters and professional loggers can receive six hours from the Society of American Foresters. It offers one unit from the Texas Water Resources Institute, seven hours for Certified Crop Advisors, and six hours for Texas Nutrient Management Planning specialists. The program may also be used for continuing education units for professional engineers.

Entwistle said attendees should check with their local Master Naturalist and Master Gardener chapters to see if the chapters will offer continuing education units for the training.

For more information, contact Entwistle at 210-277-2092 ext 205 or clare.entwistle@ag.tamu.edu or visit Texas Riparian Association or go to its Facebook.

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