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Water quality training Oct. 13 in McKinney to focus on Lavon Lake watershed
By Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M
Oct 13, 2016
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MCKINNEY – A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality related to the Lavon Lake watershed will be held from 8:00 a.m.-noon Oct. 13 at Myers Park and Event Center.

The center is located at 7117 County Road 166 in McKinney.

The workshop is presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in cooperation with the North Texas Municipal Water District.

“This workshop is designed to assist watershed residents with improving and protecting their water resources by becoming involved in Lavon Lake watershed protection and management activities,” said Michael Kuitu, AgriLife Extension program specialist and coordinator for the Texas Watershed Steward program, College Station.

He said the workshop is free and open to anyone interested in improving water quality in the region. Participants are encouraged to preregister at the Texas Watershed Steward website, http://tws.tamu.edu.

The workshop will include a discussion of watershed systems, types and sources of water pollution, and ways to improve and protect water quality. There also will be a group discussion on community-driven watershed protection and management.

Dr. Greg Church, AgriLife Extension agent for Collin County, said while the workshop will include an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, the primary focus will be on  efforts to help improve and protect Lavon Lake.

“The workshop will address issues related to local water resources but will be applicable to all waters in the region,” Church said.

“Wilson Creek and the East Fork of the Trinity River above Lavon Lake are on the state list of impaired waters for elevated levels of bacteria,” said Galen Roberts, watershed manager for the  water district. “Therefore, we want to take proactive measures, which can only be successful with public involvement, to protect the quality and integrity of the waters in Lavon Lake.”

Roberts said to address these issues, the water district and AgriLife Extension are working in partnership with local stakeholders to develop a non-regulatory watershed protection plan for Lavon Lake.

“The plan will seek to identify potential sources of pollution in the watershed and outline a strategy for protecting and improving water quality,” he said. “More information on this project will be presented at the workshop.”

Roberts also noted Lavon Lake plays a vital role in regards to regional water supplies, wildlife habitat, recreation, flood control and more.

A free Texas Watershed Steward program will be held October 13 at Myer's Park and Event Center in McKinney. (courtesy photo)

Attendees of the workshop will receive a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion. The Texas Watershed Steward program offers four continuing education units in soil and water management for certified crop advisers, four units for professional engineers and certified planners, four credits for certified teachers, and two credits for nutrient management specialists. A total of four professional development hours are available for professional geoscientists licensed by the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists.

In addition, three general continuing education units are offered for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders, four for certified landscape architects, and three for certified floodplain managers. Four continuing education credits are offered for each of the following Texas Commission on Environmental Quality occupational licensees: wastewater system operators, public water system operators, on-site sewage facility installers and landscape irrigators.

“Participating in the Texas Watershed Steward program is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference in your watershed,” Church said.

The Texas Watershed Steward program is funded through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information on the Texas Watershed Steward program and to preregister, go to  the TWS website or contact Kuitu at 979-862-4457, mkuitu@tamu.edu; or Church at 972-548-4232, gtchurch@ag.tamu.edu.

For information on the Lavon Lake Watershed Protection Plan, visit http://www.ntmwd.com/watershed-management or contact Roberts at 469-626-4637, groberts@ntmwd.com.