The Texas Water Resources Institute, TWRI, will hold a meeting Jan. 26 in Bishop for community members interested in the watershed planning process. The event will start at 10 a.m. at American Legion Post 185, 400 Texas St.
The meeting is to discuss ways to improve and protect the watershed that drains into Petronila and San Fernando creeks, the two main tributaries for Baffin Bay.
Lucas Gregory, Ph.D., TWRI assistant director, Bryan-College Station, said the meeting is one in a series of meetings with stakeholders to develop strategies needed to address water quality impairments in the watershed. He said interested stakeholders can become part of the planning process, regardless of whether they have attended past project meetings.
“Petronila and San Fernando creeks have been identified as not meeting the Texas water quality standards for contact recreation since 2010 and 2006, respectively, due to elevated levels of bacteria,” Gregory said. “The creeks also have elevated chlorophyll-a, an indicator of excess nutrients in water.”
Ennis Rios, TWRI research assistant, Bryan-College Station, said the meeting will provide a review of management measure recommendations to include in the watershed protection plan and a platform for people to provide comments on the entirety of the plan.
“We will review the last few chapters of the watershed protection plan that address management and implementation needed to address water quality concerns and hear feedback from stakeholders on the whole watershed plan,” Rios said.
“We are encouraging citizens of the region to attend this meeting as their input is essential for identifying land and water issues, and to ensure that appropriate and desirable management measures are included in the watershed-based plan,” he said.
TWRI is coordinating on the project with the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, Nueces River Authority, Texas Sea Grant and Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.
The effort is funded through a state nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board to lead local watershed stakeholders through the watershed protection planning process.
The website, https://baffin.twri.tamu.edu/, has information about future meetings and watershed plan components. Other project details will be posted as they develop. A brief subscription form to get email updates on the project may also be found there.