Free Texas Watershed Steward training Dec. 3 in Jefferson
A free Texas Watershed Steward training will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Jefferson Transportation Center, 305 N. Austin Street in Jefferson.
The training is sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in cooperation with the Northeast Texas Municipal Water District. The program is made possible through a Clean Water Act grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"This training is designed to help watershed residents improve and protect their water resources by showing them how to get involved in local watershed protection and management activities," said Jennifer Peterson, AgriLife Extension water quality program specialist in College Station.
Texas Watershed Stewards learn about watershed systems, water quality regulations and monitoring, methods to improve water quality, and community-driven watershed protection and management, she said. The associated training provides the basic knowledge and tools needed to form a watershed action group, participate in and organize local watershed activities, and become more involved in protecting and enhancing community water resources.
The program will address water quality in the Caddo Lake Watershed, which includes Big Cypress Creek and Lake O' the Pines, Peterson said. The lake and its watershed face a number of challenges, including water pollution, threats to habitat, flood-plain management and aquatic vegetation management.
"Stakeholders have been working on a plan to improve the water quality in the Caddo Lake Watershed and a similar plan has already been developed for the Lake O' the Pines," she added.
Landowners within Camp, Cass, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Hopkins, Marion, Morris, Titus, Upshur and Wood counties are encouraged to attend the upcoming training, Peterson said.
"Planning and implementation of any water quality efforts require the input and action of area residents for them to be successful," she said. "We hope area residents will become involved in efforts to protect the water quality in the Caddo Lake Watershed by attending the watershed steward training set for Dec. 3 in Jefferson."
Participants will receive training, a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Curriculum Handbook, free prizes and gifts, and a certificate of completion, Peterson said. They also will have the opportunity for:
--Seven continuing education units in soil and water management for certified crop advisors.
--Seven Texas State Board for Educator Certification continuing professional education credits for certified teachers.
--Seven American Institute of Certified Planners certificate maintenance credits for planners.
--Seven hours for professionals belonging to the Texas Board of Professional Engineers.
--Three general continuing education units for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders.
Pre-registration is now open and required for participation. For more information and to pre-register, visit the Texas Watershed Steward Web site at http://tws.tamu.edu or contact Peterson at 979-862-8072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.