The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration Program will host an Urban Stream Processes and Restoration Training workshop 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 20 in San Benito for professionals interested in conducting stream restoration projects around the South Texas area.
The morning session will be at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Office in Cameron County, 1390 W. Expressway 83. The afternoon session will be outdoors along the Arroyo Colorado River where participants will learn stream surveying techniques.
Early registration is encouraged as the workshop is limited to 40 people. Cost is $50 and includes all training materials, a catered lunch and a certificate of completion.
Attendees must register by Feb. 17 by contacting Clare Escamilla, TWRI research associate at the institute’s San Antonio office, 210-277-0292, ext. 205, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendees may also register online at Texas A&M Marketplace.
Fouad Jaber, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension program specialist in Dallas, said riparian and stream degradation is a major threat to water quality, in-stream habitat, terrestrial wildlife, aquatic species and overall stream health.
“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,” he said.
Jaber said the goal of the workshop is for participants to better understand urban stream functions and impacts of development on urban streams.
“Attendees will also learn 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.
Escamilla 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.
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 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. Check with your Master Naturalist and Master Gardener chapters to see if it is approved for education units in your area.
The urban riparian stream education program is managed by 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.