Urban riparian, stream restoration workshop set for Aug. 16 in The Woodlands

The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration Program will host a workshop from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Aug. 16 in The Woodlands for professionals interested in conducting stream restoration projects in and around the Houston area.

The workshop is co-hosted locally by the Houston-Galveston Area Council, Harris County Flood Control District and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Harris County.

The morning session will be in the Live Oak Room of the Recreation Center at Bear Branch Park, 5310 Research Forest Drive. The afternoon session will be outdoors along a branch of Upper Panther Creek and will involve learning stream surveying techniques.

Registration for the workshop is $100 and includes all training materials, lunch and a certificate of completion at the end of the course.

Clare Entwistle, research associate at the institute’s San Antonio office, said attendees must register by Aug. 13 online or by contacting her at 210-277-0292, ext. 205 or clare.entwistle@ag.tamu.edu.

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.”

Jaber said the goal of the workshop is for participants to better understand urban stream functions and the impacts of development on urban streams.

“The workshop will show attendees how to 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,” he said.

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.

Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of the participating institutions. 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.

Participants should check with their local Master Naturalist and Master Gardener chapters to see if the workshop is approved for their area.

For more information, contact Entwistle, visit the Texas Riparian Association website or its Facebook page.

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