Arroyo Colorado

May 13, 2005

Hola Arroyo Partners!

Thanks to those of you who responded to the last bi-weekly update in regards to our Arroyo problem statement! I truly appreciate the feedback as the strength of our plan lies in our dialogue as we draft this Arroyo watershed protection plan. Of the ten responses I received, the majority suggested making the link between the Arroyo and the Laguna Madre, and that we use the word impaired versus polluted. Within the responses we also have ideas on the solution to our problem, i.e., teamwork and participation. Attached is a compilation of the responses and from that the following seems to be a good problem statement.

"The Arroyo Colorado is an impaired water body not currently meeting water quality standards which impacts the Arroyo Colorado watershed and the Lower Laguna Madre, valued natural resources of the Rio Grande Valley"

We will formally vote on this at our next Arroyo Partnership meeting to be held in July and until then anyone is still welcome to comment on our stated problem. So now that we have an idea of the problem at hand, the next step is to develop visions. A vision is a general statements of where we want the efforts to go and what will be accomplish over a given time span (usually 5 to 10+ years). From these visions we will develop goals, objectives, and action items. The following explains the difference among them.

Goals - less general than visions, describes what is needed to obtain the vision, refer to components of overall effort, sometimes quantifiable.

Objectives - elaboration of goals, describe types of management or activities and are quantifiable where possible.

Action Items - explain who is going to do what, where, and when.

We have been working on this in our work group meeting however I want to give those who cannot attend those meetings an opportunity to state your visions, goals, and objectives. Remember you do have a voice in this process!

FYI, this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (May 18-20, 9am - 2pm, and 3-7 pm on Friday), we are participating the Rio Bash Expo that is being sponsored by the City of Mission. This special three day event will enhance science curriculum, highlight local groups and their educational programs, and kick off a fun and safe summer for over 2,000 5th graders. It is free to the public Friday evening from 3-7pm. If you have time to be at our booth and promote watershed education and the Arroyo Partnership, please let me know.

Another worthwhile Valley event is one sponsored by the Southmost Section of the American Planning Association titled "Ecotourism and Its Impacts on the Local Economy". It will be held on May 27 from 11 am to 4:30 pm at the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park. See the attachments for more information and for registration.

Thanks for your time and participation!

Laura