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 involves engaging local stakeholders to become actively involved in planning and implementing water resources management 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 protection planning activities.
The watershed-based trainings were delivered as 1-day, 4- or 8-hour training events and focused on enhancing understanding of watershed systems, watershed impairments, methods for improving watershed function, and community-driven watershed protection and management. Curriculum content was 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 received a certificate of completion recognizing them as Texas Watershed Stewards.