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Implementing Conservation Practices and Conducting Educational Outreach Improves Water Quality in Attoyac Bayou Watershed

TEMPLE – High levels of bacteria prompted the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to add Attoyac Bayou to the 2004 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of impaired waters for not supporting the primary contact recreation use. The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) partnered with local stakeholders, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) and Angelina and Neches River Authority (ANRA) to develop a watershed protection plan (WPP) to address the bacteria impairments in the Attoyac Bayou watershed.

Project partners, TSSWCB, TWRI, ANRA, Nacogdoches Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Piney Woods SWCD, Rusk SWCD, Shelby SWCD, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used CWA section 319(h) grant funds and  Environmental Quality Incentives Program funding to voluntarily implement agricultural and conservation best management practices (BMPs) and conduct public outreach and education.

Water quality monitoring data showed that the bacteria levels in Attoyac Bayou (Assessment Unit 0612_01) decreased and it was removed from the 2016 CWA Section 303(d) list.

"We would like to thank the stakeholders of the Attoyac Bayou watershed for their dedication and tireless efforts to make this effort a success. The delisting of this watershed is a direct result of the voluntary efforts of stakeholders within the watershed," said Mitch Conine, TSSWCB Nonpoint Source Project Manager.

This success can be attributed to conservation practice implementation, repaired or replaced failing on-site sewage facilities, and increased stakeholder awareness due to the watershed planning process.

Water quality monitoring continues to measure the interim progress of implementing the management measures outlined in the Attoyac Bayou WPP to ensure this restoration effort remains a success.

Click here to learn more and read the full success story on the Attoyac Bayou.

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