Arroyo Colorado

February 3, 2005

Dear Arroyo Partners,

First of all I want to thank those who responded to my plea of help concerning what to call ourselves. Many of the suggested names had the word partnership in it and it was pointed out that "partnership" is a good buzz word for obtaining funding. So how about the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership (ACWP)? We can vote on this at the next Steering Committee meeting that is being scheduled for mid-March. Thanks again to all you who responded. Partners!

The Arroyo Field Tour with our EPA guests went very well! We had 26 participants with an ambitious seven (7) stop schedule. See the attached itinerary. One of the best things about the tour was that it provided an opportunity for some of our active members to share their work in the watershed and this provided a good exchange of information. One of the best things that came out of the tour is that we now have EPA support. Since the trip I have been in communications with our EPA guests and they are already working for us and have made suggestions on how to better our chances for funding. Special thanks to our host; the IBWC, the City of La Feria, Harlingen Parks Department, the Arroyo Colorado Audubon Society, the Port of Harlingen, and Mr. James Matz! The trip went so well it looks like we need to schedule another one. The next one may focus on non-point source pollutions issues and could happen in March. I will keep you informed.

We started our wastewater treatment plant system reviews last week. We began in the lower part of the watershed and are working our way up stream. Roger Miranda and I have met with the city managers and utility directors (and one mayor) from five (5) different communities and have been learning a lot from them. The main goal of these meetings is to gain upper management support and to understand the individual issues surrounding the different wastewater treatment facilities. Next week we are scheduled to meet with four (4) more communities in the mid-valley area. So far we have total support from all the communities we have met with and they have provided us with some very good ideas for our watershed protection plan. This information will be shared at our next Wastewater Infrastructure Work Group meeting scheduled for March 16, 2005.

One final note, a few of us will be at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 4th and 5th) promoting our Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Planning effort. We will set up our Arroyo travel display in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Coastal Expo tent. Let me know if you would like to volunteer for part of Friday or Saturday any time between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, or just come by!

Enjoy this cool weather!

Laura