TEMPLE - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reviewed and accepted the Cedar Bayou Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) as meeting the agency’s guidelines for watershed-based plans. The Cedar Bayou WPP outlines a strategy to implement management measures that will reduce nonpoint source pollution in the watershed.
In 2006, Cedar Bayou was listed as impaired on the Texas 303(d) list of impaired waters due to elevated levels of bacteria. In response to the watershed being listed, a group of local stakeholders formed the Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership (Partnership) under the guidance of the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) and the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC). This group developed a WPP that identifies water quality issues, as well as their sources, and recommends a comprehensive set of voluntary measures for addressing the issues. The WPP will be regularly evaluated by the Partnership to monitor success and determine if revisions are necessary.
"The WPP is the direct result of a diverse and engaged local group of stakeholders actively taking responsibility for their community’s water resources. Their hard work and commitment is evident in the success of the process and the progress already made toward implementing the plan's voluntary solutions." said Justin Bower, Senior Environmental Planner at H-GAC.
The undeveloped or lightly developed areas within the region hold a great deal of promise for sustaining water quality for the entire region. The WPP will play an integral role for ensuring an abundance of clean and healthy water for the future.
"We want to thank the local residents and stakeholders of the Cedar Bayou watershed for their hard work and commitment on this project. The acceptance of the WPP allows for additional support to help implement the WPP’s voluntary solutions." said Bower.
This effort was funded through a Clean Water Act Section 319(h) grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.
The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, established in 1939, administers Texas’ soil and water conservation law and delivers coordinated natural resource conservation programs to agricultural producers throughout the state. The State Conservation Board is the lead agency responsible for planning, implementing, and managing programs for preventing and abating agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint sources of water pollution. The State Conservation Board administers a water supply enhancement program to increase available surface and ground water supplies through the targeted control of water-depleting brush in areas in need of water conservation; works to ensure the State’s network of 2,000 flood control dams is protecting lives, property, and infrastructure from flood damage; works to improve border security along the Rio Grande through control of carrizo cane; and facilitates the Texas Invasive Species Coordinating Committee.
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