NuecesRiver

Riparian and Stream Ecosystems –Lower Nueces River Watershed

NuecesRiver

October 3, 2017
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

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Agenda

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Pay online for lunch

Nueces County Emergency Services District #4
5781 FM 666
Robstown, TX 78380 (map)

This workshop is being co-hosted by The Nueces River Authority, the AgriLife Extension Office in Nueces County, and the Texas Water Resources Institute. The training will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones and the benefits and direct impacts from healthy riparian zones. The riparian education programs will cover an introduction to riparian principles, watershed processes, basic hydrology, erosion/deposition principles, and riparian vegetation, as well as potential causes of degradation and possible resulting impairment(s), and available local resources including technical assistance and tools that can be employed to prevent and/or resolve degradation.

The Lower Nueces River includes 39 river miles from Lake Corpus Christi to the saltwater barrier dam in Corpus Christi. Rocky Freund, the Nueces River Authority’s deputy executive director, said water quality testing conducted on the Lower Nueces River showed high levels of total dissolved solids and the nutrient chlorophyll-a.

“Not only is the Lower Nueces River our main water source, it is a beautiful river with many miles of natural areas and abundant wildlife,” Freund said. “It is rich in history related to the early Native American inhabitant, Texas Independence and development of the area.”

These one-day trainings in watersheds across the state include both indoor classroom presentations and outdoor stream walks. The goal is for participants to better understand and relate to riparian and watershed processes, the benefits that healthy riparian areas provide, and the tools to prevent and/or resolve degradation and improve water quality. At the conclusion of the training, participants will receive a certificate of completion.

Continuing Education Units Available:

  • Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicators License – 3 CEUs
  • Texas Water Resources Institute  – 1 CEU
  • Texas Nutrient Management Planning Specialists – 6 hours
  • Texas Floodplain Management Association – 7 CECs
  • Certified Crop Advisor- 7 CEUs (Nutrient Mgmt: 1, Soil & Water: 1.5, IPM: 1.5, Crop Mgmt: 2.5, Manure Mgmt: 0.5) (NEW)
  • Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying – 7 hours (NEW)
  • Texas Board of Architectural Examiners “Acceptable for HSW credit”
  • The program may also be used for CEUs for Professional Engineers.
  • Check with your Chapter for Master Naturalist and Master Gardener to see if it is approved for your area.

RSVP is required by September 27, 2017. Please RSVP online or by email to clare.entwistle@ag.tamu.edu. A catered lunch from Nolan’s Restaurant including a sausage or sliced brisket sandwich, beans, fries, and tea is available for $10 or participants may select to bring their own lunch. Please make sure to choose your lunch option while signing up below. Attendees can pay for lunch by credit using the online system at the TAMU Marketplace or pay in cash at the door.

Please join our listserv or like us on Facebook for more information on future programs!

The riparian education program is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research AgriLife Extension and the College at Texas A&M University. It is funded through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

greenbelt plan cover

Riparian and Stream Ecosystems – Lavon Lake Watershed & Denton County on Sept. 13

greenbelt plan cover

September 13, 2017
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

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Agenda
Pay Online for Lunch

RSVP online

Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX 75069 (map)

This workshop is being co-hosted by the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), Upper Trinity Regional Water District, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices in Denton and Collin counties, and the Texas Water Resources Institute. The training will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones and the benefits and direct impacts from healthy riparian zones. The program will cover an introduction to riparian principles, watershed processes, basic hydrology, erosion/deposition principles, and riparian vegetation, as well as potential causes of degradation and possible resulting impairment(s), and available local resources including technical assistance and tools that can be employed to prevent and/or resolve degradation.

Lavon Lake is the upper most reservoir on the East Fork of the Trinity River and provides drinking water to over 1.6 million residents in North Texas. The 491,520-acre watershed that drains to Lavon Lake includes parts of Collin, Grayson, Fannin and Hunt counties. In partnership with AgriLife Extension, NTMWD is proactively developing a non-regulatory watershed protection plan to help protect and improve water quality in Lavon Lake. https://www.ntmwd.com/watershed-planning/

Denton County is rapidly transforming from a largely rural county to one with more urban character.  As development continues, several partners in the county are working to preserve high-value watershed areas, particularly along creeks and rivers, with the development of the Denton County Greenbelt Plan. Voluntary in nature, the Greenbelt Plan advocates for a common vision for the protection of greenbelt corridors along creeks, rivers and lakes within the county to protect water quality and enhance the quality of life for residents.

These one-day trainings in watersheds across the state include both indoor classroom presentations and outdoor stream walks. The goal is for participants to better understand and relate to riparian and watershed processes, the benefits that healthy riparian areas provide, and the tools that can be employed to prevent and/or resolve degradation and improve water quality. At the conclusion of the training, participants will receive a certificate of completion.

Continuing Education Units Available:

  • Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicators License – 3 CEUs
  • Texas Water Resources Institute  – 1 CEU
  • Texas Nutrient Management Planning Specialists – 6 hours
  • Texas Floodplain Management Association – 7 CECs
  • Certified Crop Advisor- 7 CEUs (Nutrient Mgmt: 1, Soil & Water: 1.5, IPM: 1.5, Crop Mgmt: 2.5, Manure Mgmt: 0.5) (NEW)
  • Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying – 7 hours (NEW)
  • Texas Board of Architectural Examiners “Acceptable for HSW credit”
  • The program may also be used for CEUs for Professional Engineers.
  • Check with your Chapter for Master Naturalist and Master Gardener to see if it is approved for your area.

RSVP is required by September 6, 2017. RSVP online or by email to Clare.Entwistle@ag.tamu.edu. A catered lunch including a veggie option is available for $10 or participants may bring their own lunch. Please make sure to choose your lunch option while signing up below. Attendees can pay for lunch by credit using the online system at TAMU Marketplace Link or pay in cash at the door.

For more information, questions please contact Nikki Dictson at 979-575-4424 or n-dictson@tamu.edu.

Please join our listserv or like us on Facebook for more information on future programs!

The riparian education program is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research AgriLife Extension and the College at Texas A&M University. It is funded through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Finding Success for Science through Social Media – Tips, Tools, and Tactics for Natural Resource Professionals

Finding Success for Science through Social Media – Tips, Tools, and Tactics for Natural Resource social-media-icons-the-circle-setProfessionals

April 13-14, 2017

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Room 201A, Building B
12100 Park 35 Circle
Austin, TX 78753

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Registration Form to pay by Purchase Order or Check
Registration Link to pay by credit card or e-check

 

The Web is now more than 25 years old from the first design by Tim Berners-Lee to what we know today in 2014. Things have changed dramatically in design, writing standards and searchability. In addition, smart devices have outsold desktops significantly in the last 5 years. What does that mean to those in outreach and education? It means we have to continue to grow our expertise in learning how to connect the consumer to the important information we provide. We need to understand how content is found, how conversations and learning networks start, how to be discovered and what constitutes quality outreach. We have to know where to post, when to post and what to build on our websites. We have to learn how to reach our traditional clients as well as new clients. There are many successful models that can be used and applied in natural resource outreach and education that can help us down the road of discoverability.

Registration is $100 for both days! Please bring your own device.

April 13th: 1 PM-4 PM

Finding your Tribe –This half day is designed to help you figure out who is using what platforms and why. One of the most common missteps in your social media plan is using the wrong platforms for your goals. Find out what research and user-data tells you about where to put your resources and efforts. We will do some hands-on learning to discover where your tribe is and how your message can reach them. We will look at some of the new platforms as well as your materials and where you want to use them. We will cover accounts, designing strategies, learning best practices, analyzing outreach and planning schedules.

April 14th: 8:30 AM-3:30 PM

Getting Found with all the Noise. We will look at Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and some of the biggest platforms to learn how writing changes between them and making the most out of your content. How do you get found with so many competing voices? We’ll go through various exercises to help you build good content. We will look at some additional graphics and analysis tools to help you refine your reach. Learn some quick tricks and tips to get you down the road.

Please share with others who may be interested in attending this fabulous and informative course!

Riparian and Stream Ecosystems –Medina and Sabinal Rivers in Bandera on April 18

07.21.16 Upstream (1)Riparian and Stream Ecosystems –Medina and Sabinal Rivers

April 18, 2017
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Flyer
Agenda

RSVP

Mansfield Park Recreational Hall 
2886 Hwy 16 N.
Bandera, TX 78003 (map)

This workshop is being co-hosted by the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Bandera County, and the Texas Water Resources Institute. The training will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones and the benefits and direct impacts from healthy riparian zones. The riparian education programs will cover an introduction to riparian principles, watershed processes, basic hydrology, erosion/deposition principles, and riparian vegetation, as well as potential causes of degradation and possible resulting impairment(s), and available local resources including technical assistance and tools that can be employed to prevent and/or resolve degradation.

Currently, the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District is actively involved in the Clean Rivers Program in the Medina and Sabinal River Basins, partnering with San Antonio River Authority and Nueces River Authority. The district also maintains in-house surface water quality programs for Bandera County, focusing on recreational sites in the county, including Medina Lake. Additionally, the district also operates an illegal dumping litter abatement program to protect local streams as well as groundwater resources. It is also currently active in expanding early flood warning systems through the technical assistance of the USGS and funds provided by the TWDB and local partners.

These one-day trainings in watersheds across the state include both indoor classroom presentations and outdoor stream walks.

The goal is for participants to better understand and relate to riparian and watershed processes, the benefits that healthy riparian areas provide, and the tools that can be employed to prevent and/or resolve degradation and improve water quality. At the conclusion of the training, participants will receive a certificate of completion.

Continuing Education Units Available

  • Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicators License – 3 CEUs
  • Texas Water Resources Institute  – 1 CEU
  • Texas Nutrient Management Planning Specialists – 6 hours
  • Texas Floodplain Management Association – 7 CECs
  • Texas Forestry Association – 6 hours
  • Society of American Foresters – 4 hours
  • Certified Crop Advisor- 7 CEUs (Nutrient Mgmt: 1, Soil & Water: 1.5, IPM: 1.5, Crop Mgmt: 2.5, Manure Mgmt: 0.5) (NEW)
  • Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying – 7 hours (NEW)
  • Texas Board of Architectural Examiners “Acceptable for HSW credit”
  • The program may also be used for CEUs for Professional Engineers.
  • Check with your Chapter for Master Naturalist and Master Gardener to see if it is approved for your area.

RSVP is required by April 14, 2017. RSVP online, by email to n-dictson@tamu.edu, by calling Dictson at 979-575-4424. Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District is providing a catered lunch to participants. Participants may also select to bring their own lunch. Dress is casual and comfortable for the weather as we will be outside at the stream during the afternoon.

For more information or questions please contact Nikki Dictson at 979-458-5915 or n-dictson@tamu.edu.

Please join our listserv or like us on Facebook for more information on future programs!

The riparian education program is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research AgriLife Extension and the College at Texas A&M University. It is funded through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Conservation Matters: Forest Service reports on droughts' effects on forests and rangelands

Forest Service reports on droughts’ effects on forests and rangelands

Forest Service reports on droughts' effects on forests and rangelandsMortality of Ashe juniper at Colorado Bend State Park, TX, after the 2011 drought. (Photo by Rob Jackson, Stanford University. Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.)

The U.S. Forest Service has released a new report, Effects of Drought on Forests and Rangelands in the United States: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis, which provides a national assessment of peer-reviewed scientific research on the impacts of drought on U.S. forests and rangelands. This report will help the Forest Service better manage forests and grasslands impacted by climate change.

“Our forests and rangelands are national treasures, and because they are threatened, we are threatened,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This report confirms what we are seeing, that every region of the country is impacted by the direct and indirect effects of drought conditions and volatile weather patterns. Sixty million Americans rely on drinking water that originates on our 193 million acres of national forest and grasslands. They support 200,000 jobs and contribute over $13 billion to local economies every year.”

The report establishes a comprehensive baseline of available data that land managers can use to test how well their efforts to improve drought resilience and adaptation practices are working nationwide. Major findings from the report include:

  • Drought projections suggest that some regions of the U.S. will become drier and that most will have more extreme variations in precipitation.
  • Even if current drought patterns remained unchanged, warmer temperatures will amplify drought effects.
  • Drought and warmer temperatures may increase risks of large-scale insect outbreaks and larger wildfires, especially in the western U.S.
  • Drought and warmer temperature may accelerate tree and shrub death, changing habitats and ecosystems in favor of drought-tolerant species.
  • Forest-based products and values – such as timber, water, habitat and recreation opportunities – may be negatively impacted.
  • Forest and rangeland managers can mitigate some of these impacts and build resiliency in forests through appropriate management actions.

“Since 2000, fire seasons have grown longer and the frequency, size and severity of wildland fires have increased,” Vilsack said. “Among the many benefits of having this solid baseline data is the improved ability to identify where restoration work can help forests adapt and prosper while minimizing the threat and impact of future wildfires.”

The assessment, a broad review of existing drought research, provides input to the reauthorized National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), established by Congress in 2006, and the National Climate Assessment (NCA), produced every four years to project major trends and evaluate the effects of global climate change on forests, agriculture, rangelands, land and water resources, human health and welfare, and biological diversity. Together these serve as key, science-based, resources for anyone working to maintain or improve public and private lands in the face of a changing environment.

For more information, read the full U.S. Forest Service news release and report.

Stocked fish ponds more susceptible to oxygen depletion during summer months

Stocked fish ponds more susceptible to oxygen depletion during summer months

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Adam Russell.

Summer is beginning to heat up in Texas, and a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert advises landowners to start monitoring stocked ponds for oxygen depletion.

Landowners with stocked fish ponds should be aware of possible problems with oxygen depletion as hot, still days become more prevalent, said Dr. Billy Higginbotham, AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist.

From June to September, when the outside air is increasingly hot and pond water temperatures climb, are the time of year when oxygen depletions occur most for a variety of reasons, he said. Improper aquatic weed control, too many pounds of fish and the weather all contribute.

Higginbotham said typical ponds can sustain 1,000 pounds of fish per surface acre through summer months. When the environment is optimized and the pond owner stocks heavily, especially with channel and blue catfish, and feeds heavily with floating fish rations, that density level can be easily met and exceeded.

Oxygen production via photosynthesis can slow or stop after several hot, still, cloudy days, while fish can continue to use oxygen until it falls below 3 parts per million gallons, which stresses fish, Higginbotham said. Fish will then begin swimming to the surface to try to obtain enough oxygen to survive at the air-water interface.

Higginbotham recommends checking the pond at daybreak when oxygen levels are at their lowest daily levels. The pond owner should act quickly if fish are surfacing for air.

Larger fish are affected by low oxygen levels more than smaller fish, he said.

“It’s almost as if they are gasping for air at the air-water interface,” Higginbotham said. “That’s a clear sign of oxygen depletion, and the pond owner should act quickly to avoid a complete die-off of their fish.”

Pond owners can produce more oxygen for fish in various ways.

Backing a boat engine into the pond and circulating the water is one way to create more oxygen, Higginbotham said. Pond owners can also place a water pump in a shallow portion of the pond and spray water along the surface to circulate water along the air-water interface.

Once oxygen levels are restored, Higginbotham said pond owners should investigate the pond conditions that contributed to the depletion. He recommends thinning fish populations to reduce the pounds of fish the pond supports going into the mid-summer months.

Controlling aquatic vegetation can also contribute to oxygen depletion, Higginbotham said. Oxygen is removed from water as plant tissue decomposes, which can create a scenario where a die-off might occur.

Weed control efforts should be done gradually, about 15-20 percent of the vegetation at a time and with a week break between treatments, he said.

An aeration system is also a good investment for landowners to avoid problems or prevent future problems, Higginbotham said.

“Watch very carefully as we enter these still, cloudy days, the dog days of summer,” Higginbotham said. “Be mindful of oxygen depletion and the possibility of losing fish populations.”

Read the full AgriLife TODAY article for more information.

Flood recovery resources are available through AgriLife Extension

As many Texans recover from recent flood damage, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has resources that can help.

The Texas Extension Disaster Education Network, or Texas EDEN, has science-based materials related to floods, and other emergencies and disasters at texashelp.tamu.edu. View the Texas EDEN Floods page for expert advice on flood recovery, and see these specific resources for additional information and for experts to contact:

Read this AgriLife TODAY article for more information about Texas EDEN and flood safety.

The National Forest Service Flooding and Its Effects on Trees page also has helpful information for landowners assessing and monitoring damaged trees. And, for resources on maintaining and protecting healthy riparian areas along streams and rivers, visit the Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program at texasriparian.org.

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