February 17, 2006
Plum Creek site of pilot program
Texas Cooperative Extension and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board are partnering in a program to protect and improve water quality in the state's watersheds.
The Plum Creek Watershed has been selected as a pilot for the program.
Plum Creek Watershed begins in Hays County north of Kyle, continues south through Caldwell County, includes the cities of Lockhart and Luling, and joins the San Marcos River at the Gonzales County line.
Extension is developing the Texas Watershed Steward Program to support the effort.
"The program will provide science-based, watershed education to help citizens take action to address local water quality impairments by working through the watershed protection plan process," said Nikki Dictson, Extension program specialist.
The State Soil and Water Conservation Board and Extension will provide guidance and technical assistance to local stakeholder groups in developing and implementing watershed protection plans. The best management practices outlined in the plans are designed to reduce pollution entering lakes and streams. Stakeholders, including citizens and private and public entities, help identify and promote the implementation of the practices.
The Wharton Regional Watershed Coordination Steering Committee was created to prioritize watersheds in the region, support and oversee the program.
"The committee is composed of water quality professionals from across the service area, including state and federal agencies, river authorities, national estuary programs, and councils of government," Dictson said.
Land use, urban development, industrial activity and agricultural non-point source pollution potential were considered in the selection of Plum Creek.
Key project partners include the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and the Plum Creek Conservation District. In addition, citizens throughout the watershed will be able to participate and will be kept informed as the planning process moves forward. The Plum Creek Watershed Partnership will begin by forming the local steering committee early in 2006.
"This group will be composed of individuals with a vested interest in water quality in the watershed who are willing to guide the watershed planning process," Dictson said. "The goal of the program is to develop and implement a plan that protects water resources in the region now and into the future."
For more information on the Texas Watershed Steward Program, contact Dictson at (979) 458-3478, email email@example.com or visit the Web at http://watershedsteward.tamu.edu.