LA MARQUE—The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a workshop from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 27 in La Marque for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Dickinson Bayou watershed.
The free workshop is presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Galveston County, the Texas Coastal Watershed Program and the Dickinson Bayou Watershed Partnership.
The morning session will be at the AgriLife Extension office in Galveston County, 4102-B Main St., which is also Farm-to-Market Road 519 The afternoon session will include an outdoor walk and presentations.
Charriss York, AgriLife Extension program specialist and watershed coordinator for the Texas Coastal Watershed Program, Galveston, said the mission of the Dickinson Bayou Watershed Partnership is to protect, preserve and restore the quality of the watershed and its communities.
“By increasing knowledge about watershed and stream processes, we can change behaviors and create advocates for responsible land management,” York said.
She said Dickinson Bayou watershed is considered impaired due to high bacteria levels and depressed dissolved oxygen. Increased bacteria concentrations can pose a risk for people who swim and recreate on the bayou.
“A watershed protection plan has been completed and is continually being updated to reflect current conditions in the bayou,” York said.
Nikki Dictson, Texas Water Resources Institute Extension program specialist and coordinator of the program, said trainings 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. A riparian zone is the land area adjacent to the bank of a stream, creek, bayou or river.
Dictson said workshop topics will include riparian and watershed management principles, water quality, riparian vegetation, hindrances to healthy riparian areas, stream processes, management practices and local resources.
“The goal is for participants to better understand riparian and watershed processes, see the benefits of healthy riparian areas and know what resources are available to prevent degradation while improving water quality,” Dictson said.
Phoenix Rogers, AgriLife Extension agent for Galveston County, said workshop presentations will be given by representatives of the Texas Water Resources Institute, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, AgriLife Extension and the Dickinson Bayou Watershed Partnership.
Registration is required for the free workshop, and a catered lunch is available for $15. Attendees may also elect to bring their own lunch, as the program includes a lunchtime presentation.
Dictson said participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education units at the conclusion of the training.
The workshop offers over seven types of continuing education units including three for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders, one from the Texas Water Resources Institute, six hours from the Texas Forestry Association, 5.5 hours from the Society of American Foresters, and six hours for Texas Nutrient Management Planning specialists. The program may also be used for continuing education units for professional engineers.
The riparian education program is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University. It is funded through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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