NACOGDOCHES – The Attoyac Bayou Watershed Partnership will hold a meeting Dec. 8 to continue discussions on the development of its watershed protection plan.
The meeting, hosted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, will be from 6-8 p.m. at the Nacogdoches County Farm Bureau Conference Facility, 2302 NW Stallings Dr. in Nacogdoches. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m.
“Anyone interested in protecting and restoring water quality in the Attoyac Bayou and improving or protecting its watershed is invited to the meeting,” said Crispin Skinner, Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program agriculture and natural resources agent for Nacogdoches County.
The Attoyac Bayou Watershed Protection Plan Development project is now in its third year and actual development of the watershed plan will begin soon, said Lucas Gregory, Texas Water Resources Institute project manager.
The Texas Water Resources Institute, which manages the project, is part of Texas AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.
“This meeting will focus on continuing discussions of population estimates for the primary species contributing bacteria to the watershed and fecal loading rates for the watershed, as well reviewing the watershed plan development process,” Gregory said.
Gregory said population estimates were discussed at a previous meeting and stakeholders completed a survey to provide local insight on these numbers. Survey results will be presented and the steering committee will assess these numbers for use in watershed modeling.
Anthony Castilaw of Castilaw Environmental Services, Attoyac Bayou watershed coordinator, said identifying and using numbers of animals and humans in the watershed are important in developing the most accurate estimate of bacteria loading in the watershed. At the meeting, Castilaw will give an overview of the Attoyac Bayou watershed plan development process and illustrate how these data and other project information will be incorporated to develop the watershed plan.
“Each of the tools described over the past several meetings provide much-needed information for the development of the plan and complements other tools used,” Castilaw said. “Our intention is to describe how these pieces support each other and will help in planning needed management measures to restore water quality in the watershed.”
Texas AgriLife agencies have partnered with Castilaw Environmental Services and others to work with landowners in portions of Rusk, Shelby, Nacogdoches and San Augustine counties to coordinate the plan’s development.
“As always, watershed stakeholders are strongly urged to attend all partnership meetings and become directly involved in this process,” Skinner added. “These meetings provide a direct opportunity to participate in developing the watershed protection plan and ensure that it meets local needs.”
Other project partners include Stephen F. Austin State University and its Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, Angelina Neches River Authority and the Pineywoods Resource Conservation and Development.
Funding for the development and support of the Attoyac Bayou Watershed Protection Plan is through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.