Arroyo Colorado

July 25, 2005

Dear Arroyo Partners,

Work continues to bring more awareness to the Arroyo Colorado and the associated watershed issues. This week our Partnership will be participating in two educational/awareness opportunities thanks to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the International Museum of Arts and Sciences (IMAS). These events were scheduled for last week but due to the threat of Emily, rescheduled for this week.

TPWD will conduct Project Wild Facilitator Training at Bentsen State Park July 26th & 27th. Project wild is a K-12 environmental and conservation education program emphasizing awareness, appreciation, and understanding of wildlife and natural resources. TWPD is giving us another opportunity to participate, collaborate, and bring more attention to our effort of drafting a plan for a cleaner Arroyo. For more information call Jennifer Liston (956) 584-9156 x 237 or Jennifer.liston@tpwd.state.tx.us.

Another outreach and education opportunity is happening this Thursday. IMAS in collaboration with the McAllen Recycling Center, the McAllen Public Utility Board, and our Arroyo Partnership is hosting a teacher workshop titled "Restore our Watersheds: Arroyo Colorado Watershed Curriculum" on July 28, 2005 from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. See the attached agenda. This workshop provides a venue for teachers to participate in the development of a watershed curriculum specific to the Valley highlighting Valley watersheds. The watershed-based curriculum is part of a collaboratively designed workshop series offered to science teachers to integrate environmental themes and activities into the science curriculum in alignment with TEKS Science. Part of the training includes Phase I - Texas Watch Certified Water Quality Monitors Training. We have fifteen teachers signed-up and all Valley teachers are invited to participate. For more information call Ginette Garcia for more information at 956-682-1564 ext. 106.

Changes in relation to our Agricultural work group have been keeping me busy. We have been working to secure three grants however, with the departure of Dr. Chang of Texas A&M Kingsville to the University of Florida; one grant to conduct water quality monitoring is being reconsidered. I am working to help keep this cycle of funding. The good news is that this change has stimulated communications in regards to the agricultural component of the plan.

The request for qualifications (RFQ) to hire a firm to conduct a market survey and to help promote the development of the Arroyo WPP is out and applications are due August 1. Once the applications are received our Arroyo Education and Outreach work group will get together to review the submittals and make a selection. This has been a long time coming but will prove beneficial to our process.

On a final note, next Thursday, August 4 from 6-9 pm is our quarterly Steering Committee/Partnership meeting and our Habitat work group meeting is from 1-4 pm. Both meetings will be held at the Citrus Research Center in the Rio Red Classroom. Please do not hesitate to contact me for more information.

I hope you can attend one or both of these important meetings,

Laura