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Continued Statewide Delivery of the Texas Watershed Steward Program

Project Background:All watersheds in Texas are threatened by nonpoint sources (NPS) of pollution which are detrimental to the valuable water resources of the state. To help combat this threat, federal and state water resource management agencies have adopted a watershed-scale approach for managing water quality. One vital component of this approach involoves engaging local stakeholders to become actively involved in planning and implementing water resources managment and protection programs in their watershed. To support this need for stakeholder involvement, the Texas Watershed Steward (TWS) program was initiated to increase citizen understanding of watershed processes and to foster increased local participation in watershed management and watershed proctection planning activities.

In the publication titled, Handbok for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters, Enivronmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies nine important elements of effectiv watershed protection plans. One of the most critical elements focuses on information and education and recognizes the importance of enhancing public understanding and encouraging early and continued participation in the watershed protection planning process. The TWS program will function  to provide this vital information/education component and, in addition, will striveto facilitate greater, more effective, and sustained participation of stakeholders in watershed planning, implementation, and management efforts.

Project Goals/Description: This project with continue statewide implementation of the TWS program by conducting watershed-based trainings in selected watersheds, and enhancing access to the program through the computer-based distance training tools delivered via web and CD-ROM platforms.

Watershed-Based Trainings. The watershed-based trainings will be delivered as 1-day, 8-hour training events and will focus on enhancing understanding of watershed systems, watershed impairments, methods for improving watershed function, and community-driven watershed protection and management. Curriculum content will be tailored as much as possible to each specific watershed so that participants better understand and relate to their particular watershed processes, causes of impairment(s), and the tools that can be employed to prevent and/or resolve them. At the conclusion of the training, participants will receive a certificate of completion recognizing them as Texas Watershed Stewards.

For upcoming workshops please visit http://tws.tamu.edu/workshops/upcoming/  
                 
Project Location: Statewide

Project Costs: Federal ($417,398); Non-Federal ($272,033); Total ($689,431)

Project Participant(s): TSSWCB, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M University- Spaitial Sciences Laboratory

Project Websitehttp://tws.tamu.edu/

Project Workplan11-05
Past Projects: A Community-based Water Quality Curriculum which Enhances Stakeholder Involvement in Watershed Protection Plan Initiatives  05-05; Statewide Implementation of the Texas Watershed Steward Program 07-09 

"Protecting and Enhancing Natural Resources since 1939."

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