The meeting, which has an online participation option, is free and open to anyone interested in improving and protecting water quality in Jack, Cedar, Hurricane and Biloxi creeks — tributaries of the Neches River below Lake Palestine.
The in-person meeting will begin at 2 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office for Angelina County, 2201 S. Medford Drive, Lufkin. Those interested in participating online can register to join at Tributaries of the Neches River Below Lake Palestine Meeting.
Anna Gitter, research specialist for TWRI, said specific portions of Cedar Creek, Hurricane Creek, Jack Creek and Biloxi Creek fail to meet the state water quality standards for contact recreation. The state has identified these water bodies as impaired for elevated concentrations of bacteria, such as E. coli, which is found in both human and animal waste and may indicate a health risk to people who recreate in those streams.
Gitter said the meeting will continue the stakeholder-driven process to develop a plan to restore and protect the local water resources and share findings from current work on the technical support document.
“The planning process will help develop a roadmap for improving water quality,” she said. “Such efforts will help develop measures to reduce pollution in the watershed.”
Carla Ethridge, Clean Rivers Program manager at the Angelina and Neches River Authority, said the current work in these watersheds to assess the extent and potential causes of water quality issues helps to support efforts to improve water quality in these water bodies in the future.
“To improve the water quality of these creeks, we need input and guidance from local stakeholders,” she said.
For more information on water quality standards and monitoring, visit Preserving and Improving Water Quality on the TCEQ website.