TR-533 Targeted Education to Decrease Nonpoint Source Loadings

Authors: Allen Berthold, Taylor Olsovsky

Segments of the Lavaca River have been identified as impaired due to excessive indicator bacteria. In response, a watershed protection plan was developed for the Lavaca River watershed to identify management measures that would reduce bacterial loads. One management measure identified in the watershed protection plan is the development of water quality management plans and conservation plans. The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, local soil and water conservation districts, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service work with landowners to develop and implement such plans specific to each operation. These conservation plans include the implementation of best management practices, which may include financial and technical assistance as needed, that both improve operations and help reduce the amount of indicator bacteria that enters nearby waterbodies. However, raising awareness amongst landowners about available sources of technical and financial assistance can be a challenge. In-person programs are traditionally the primary method of education, but the impact can be limited when only a small number of people are able to attend.