Petronila Creek. (Texas Water Resources Institute photo)

The Texas Water Resources Institute will host a free Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program training from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 6 in Bishop for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Petronila Creek and San Fernando Creek watersheds.

The morning session will be at the American Legion Post 185, 440 Texas St. in Bishop. The afternoon session will include a creekside walk and presentations.

Clare Entwistle, research associate at the institute’s San Antonio office, said the training is co-hosted locally by the Texas Sea Grant, the Nueces River Authority and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Nueces County.

Attendees must RSVP by Nov. 1 online at Texas A&M Marketplace or to Entwistle at 210-277-0292 ext.205.

The program will include a lunchtime presentation. A catered lunch will be provided at no cost, or participants may bring their own.

Morgen Ayers, natural resource specialist for Texas Sea Grant, Corpus Christi, said Petronila Creek and San Fernando Creek watersheds encompass portions of Kleberg, Duval, Jim Wells and Nueces counties. Both creeks flow into Baffin Bay and are part of the greater Baffin Bay watershed.

Ayers said Baffin Bay is well known for its recreational value, especially fishing.

“In order to maintain and protect these values and natural resources, proactive measures are being taken by locals to address water quality problems that have arisen,” Ayers said.

Entwistle 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.

Entwistle 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.

Jason Ott, AgriLife Extension agent in Nueces County, said 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 credits from Texas Floodplain Management Association, six hours from the Texas Forestry Association, four hours from the Society of American Foresters, 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.

For more information, contact Entwistle or visit the Texas Riparian Association’s website or Facebook page.

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