June 24, 2005
Dear Arroyo Partners,
It has been a good and busy two weeks. First of all I received notice that I have been appointed to a two-year term on the Board of the Lower Rio Grande Citizens' Forum of the United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC). I will have a role in facilitating the exchange of information between the community and the Commission and I look forward to this appointment.
I do not know the full history of the Arroyo Colorado Aeration Structures project (also know as the Arroyo Weir Project) but am happy to report there is movement on this project. Last week the Interim City Manager of Harlingen, Mr. Gabriel Gonzales, signed and submitted the Army Corp of Engineers 404 permit application. I know many dedicated citizens have been working for many years to get these structures in place and I applaud their efforts. Although these structures alone will not deal with our low dissolved oxygen issue, it is a step in the right direction. It is a direction that will make the Arroyo more appealing while adding oxygen to the water.
Outreach and education efforts continue. I presented our Arroyo WPP planning effort to Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist, the Texas Vegetable Association, and to participants of the Texas Watch Regional Meeting. In the process, I developed two more outreach tools, one focusing on education and outreach and the other on our agricultural component of the plan. These meetings and presentations are always a pleasure as I gain insight on specific elements of our plan while meeting and recruiting new members. Several potential projects come out of these meetings and one is a wetland project to be done by a specific group. The Texas Master Naturalist expressed interest in developing a wetland and this is what we need for our plan; individual or groups of individuals to take on a specific action item that will improve the quality of water in the Arroyo. Wetlands of different sizes and function are part of the solution so I will put this in our plan and will help look for grant money to help make this happen. There is room for plenty more wetlands in our Arroyo Colorado watershed so let me know if you want one in your "neighborhood".
There is more but I will save it for next time.