Project Goals/Objectives: This project will provide agricultural producers in the Mill Creek watershed with an opportunity to participate in water quality educational activities and receive technical and financial assistance for the development of Water Quality Management Plans (WQMPs) and implementation of best management practices (BMPs).This project provides funding to support implementation of recommended agricultural management measures identified for action in the WPP during the first 3 years of the 10- year implementation schedule. To achieve this goal, the Austin County SWCD #347 will hire one District Technician who will provide technical assistance to agricultural producers in developing and implementing WQMPs and Prescribed Grazing Plans in the Mill Creek Watershed. WQMPs are developed according to the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide. Once the WQMP is developed, it will be sent to the Wharton Regional office for technical review and certification. Upon certification of the WQMP, the District Technician will work with the landowners to implement the BMPs prescribed in the WQMP.
Project Background: In 2013, Mill Creek was identified for WPP development due to a bacteria impairment. Through TSSWCB projects 14-57 and 15-54 entitled “Phase 1: Data Collection and Development of Essential Components for the Mill Creek Watershed Protection Plan”and “Phase 2: Development of a Watershed Protection Plan for Mill Creek”, water quality monitoring, water quality modeling and WPP development occurred. The WPP development was a stakeholder driven process led by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Department of Soil and Crop Sciences with vital support from stakeholders. The Mill Creek Watershed Partnership Steering Committee includes local officials, land and business owners and citizens and is supported by state and federal agency partners. With technical assistance from project staff, the Steering Committee identified issues that are of particular importance to the surrounding communities, contributed information on land use and activities that was helpful in identifying potential sources of bacteria and nutrients, and guided development of the WPP.
Project Location: Mill Creek watershed in Austin and Washington Counties
Project Costs: Federal:$153,894, Non-federal: $0, Total: $153,894
Project Participants: Austin County SWCD, Washington SWCD, USDA-NRCS, Texas
Project Workplan: 16-09