The Texas Water Resources Institute, or TWRI, will host a free two-part online workshop of the Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program training.
This training is for area residents and others interested in land and water stewardship in the Attoyac Bayou watershed.
Training will be presented in two parts. This first will be a virtual training, which includes a pre-recorded program that can be viewed before Oct. 19. The second part will be an online Zoom discussion on Oct. 19.
The online education program will cover an introduction to riparian principles, watershed processes, basic hydrology, erosion/deposition principles, and riparian vegetation, as well as potential causes of degradation and possible impairment. It also addresses any available local resources and technical assistance.
After viewing the online program, participants can join instructors and local watershed coordinators from 10 a.m.-noon Oct. 19 on the Zoom meeting platform to discuss and ask questions about the program.
Clare Escamilla, research associate at the institute’s San Antonio office, said the training is co-hosted locally by the Attoyac Bayou Watershed Partnership, Angelina & Neches River Authority and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Nacogdoches County.
Those planning to participate in the Oct. 19 portion must RSVP by Oct. 12 at the Attoyac Bayou Riparian & Stream Ecosystems Training page or to Escamilla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The virtual training will be made available to all registered participants two weeks prior to the Oct. 19 gathering.
Attoyac Bayou Watershed impairment
Emily Monroe, watershed coordinator for the Attoyac Bayou Watershed Partnership, said the watershed is impaired for not meeting the recreational standard for E. coli. The predominately rural watershed is located in portions of Nacogdoches, Rusk, San Augustine and Shelby counties.
“A local stakeholder group has been working on implementing the watershed protection plan to introduce voluntary practices that benefit instream water quality,” Monroe said. “This training is a good opportunity for those interested to learn more about best management practices beneficial to water quality.”
Monroe will provide an update on the Attoyac Bayou Watershed project during the Oct. 19 online discussion.
Escamilla said proper management, protection and restoration of these areas directly influences water quality and quantity, plus stabilizes stream banks and improves fish and aquatic habitats and communities.
“The goal of the training 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,” she said.
Escamilla said the institute is able to offer the training without cost 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.
Participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates at the conclusion of the training.
The training offers many types of continuing education units, including three units — two general and one integrated pest management — for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders. It offers one unit from the 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.
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.