HOUSTON -- A Texas Watershed Steward workshop related to water quality in Cypress Creek will be held from 12:30-4:30 p.m. April 25.

The workshop will be at the Prairie View A&M Northwest Educational Building, 9449 Grant Road in Houston. It is presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in cooperation with the Houston-Galveston Area Council.

The workshop is free and open to anyone interested in improving water quality in the region.

"This workshop is designed to help watershed residents improve and protect their water resources by becoming involved in local watershed protection and management activities," said Michael Kuitu, AgriLife Extension program specialist and coordinator for the Texas Watershed Steward program in College Station.

Doors will open at noon, and a free lunch will be provided by the AgriLife Extension office in Harris County for those who preregister for the workshop by April 22. Participants are encouraged to preregister at the Texas Watershed Steward website at tws.tamu.edu.

For more information on the Texas Watershed Steward program and to preregister, go to the website or contact Kuitu at 979-862-4457, mkuitu@tamu.edu; or Shannon Dietz at 713-274-0950 orshannon.dietz@ag.tamu.edu.

The workshop will include a discussion on watershed systems, types and sources of water pollution, and ways to improve and protect water quality. There also will be a group discussion on community-driven watershed protection and management.

"The workshop will provide an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, but will primarily focus on area water quality, including current efforts to improve and protect Cypress Creek," said Shannon Dietz, AgriLife Extension agent for Harris County. "It will address issues related to local water resources but will be applicable to all waters in the region."

"Cypress Creek is a critical resource for the area," said Houston-Galveston Area Council watershed coordinator Justin Bower. "Located in an increasingly urbanizing portion of Harris County, improving and protecting the health of Cypress Creek is the number one goal of a watershed project the [Houston-Galveston Area Council] is starting, a project for which public involvement is needed."

Attendees of the workshop will receive a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion. The Texas Watershed Steward program offers four continuing education units in soil and water management for certified crop advisers, four units for professional engineers and certified planners, four credits for certified teachers and two credits for nutrient management specialists. A total of four professional development hours are available for professional geoscientists.

In addition, three general continuing education units are offered for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders, and four for certified landscape architects. Four continuing education credits are provided to certified floodplain managers. Four continuing education credits are also offered for each of the following Texas Commission on Environmental Quality occupational licensees: wastewater system operators, public water system operators, on-site sewage facility installers and landscape irrigators.

Funding for this effort is provided through a federal Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant administered by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For information on watershed protection efforts for the Cypress Creek watershed, contact Bower at 713-499-6653 or justin.bower@h-gac.com.

Texas Water Resources Institute photo

Cypress Creek, in an inceasingly urban area of Harris County, will be the subject of a Texas Watershed Steward workshop on April 25 at the Prairie View A&M Northwest Educational Building, 9449 Grant Road in Houston.

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