The Texas Water Resources Institute will host a Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in Brady for residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Brady Creek watershed.
The free workshop is co-hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Riparian Association and TWRI. The program will include a lunchtime presentation, so a catered lunch is being offered for $15, or attendees may bring their own lunch.
The morning session will be at the Heart of Texas Event Center, 804 San Angelo Highway. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along Brady Creek.
All attendees must RSVP by Nov. 6 online at tx.ag/brady2023 or by email to Alexander Neal, TWRI program specialist, Bryan-College Station, at Alexander.Neal@ag.tamu.edu.
Brady Creek watershed efforts
The Brady Creek watershed is the focus of water quality improvement efforts by stakeholders.
“Stakeholders recognize successful water quality improvement requires implementing a variety of management strategies,” said Sarita Short, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent in McCulloch County. “The riparian and stream workshop is an educational event supporting this effort.”
Neal said riparian education workshops motivate informed landowners and local residents to adopt and support practices to better manage riparian and stream ecosystems.
“Not only are water quality and quantity directly benefitted by the proper management, protection and restoration of these critical areas, the soundness of stream banks, fish communities and aquatic habitats, just to name a few, are also enhanced,” he said.
Workshop focuses on function, benefits of streams and riparian zones
Neal said the workshop will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones as well as the benefits and economic impacts from properly functioning riparian systems.
“Riparian areas – the green vegetated land areas 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,” Neal 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.”
Presentations will be given by representatives from TWRI, the Upper Colorado River Authority, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas A&M Forest Service and the Texas Riparian Association.
Neal said the workshop is offered free of 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.
Continuing education units offered
Ricky Linex, retired wildlife biologist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Weatherford, said 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, including three 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, six and a half hours from the Society of American Foresters, and eight hours from the International Society of Arboriculture. It offers seven credits from Texas Floodplain Management Association, 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 and architects.
The riparian education program is managed by TWRI, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.