Contacts: Clare Entwistle, 210-277-0292 ext.110, Clare.Entwistle@ag.tamu.edu
Jennifer Cary, 979-862-8070, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kara Matheney, 979-277-6212, email@example.com
BRENHAM – The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a free workshop from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 8 in Brenham for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Mill Creek watershed.
The morning session will be at the Washington County Fairgrounds Sales Facility, 1305 E. Blue Bell Road. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along Mill Creek.
Clare Entwistle, research associate at the institute’s San Antonio office, said the workshop is co-hosted locally by the Mill Creek Watershed Partnership and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Washington County.
The program will include a lunchtime presentation. A free catered lunch will be available or participants may bring their own lunch.
Mill Creek is a 14-mile stream in southeastern Texas that flows into the Brazos River and is the focus of watershed planning efforts by stakeholders. Riparian areas, or the green vegetated land area adjacent to the bank of a stream, creek, bayou, river or lake, are unique and important ecosystems that provide many benefits including habitat and forage.
“Proper management, protection and restoration of these vital areas directly influences water quality and quantity, plus stabilizes stream banks and improves fish and aquatic habitats and communities,” Entwistle said. “The goal of the workshop is for participants to better understand riparian and watershed processes, the benefits of healthy riparian areas and what resources are available to prevent degradation while improving water quality.”
“Stakeholders recognize successful implementation of a watershed protection plan requires implementing a variety of management strategies,” said Jennifer Cary, AgriLife Extension specialist and Mill Creek watershed coordinator, College Station. “The riparian and stream workshop is an educational event supporting this effort.”
Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Mill Creek Watershed Partnership, Texas Wildlife Services Program and AgriLife Extension.
Entwistle said the workshop is offered at no cost to participants thanks to program funding provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Kara Matheney, AgriLife Extension agent, Washington County, said participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates when training concludes.
The workshop offers three continuing education units — two general and one integrated pest management — for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders. Foresters and professional loggers can receive six hours from the Texas Forestry Association and six hours from the Society of American Foresters. It offers one unit from the Texas Water Resources Institute, seven credits from the Texas Floodplain Management Association, seven hours for Certified Crop Advisors, seven hours from the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying 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.