Arroyo Colorado

May 27, 2005

Arroyo Partners!

First of all, I want to welcome all our new members to the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership and especially the Cameron County Commissioner of Pct 4, Edna Tamayo, who contacted me with such enthusiasm and in interest in our effort to improve the quality of water in the Arroyo Colorado. We now have around 320 individuals signed up and our Arroyo Partnership continues to grow!

I also want to welcome the board members of the Southmost Section of the American Planning Association. I met with them last week to learn more about their organization and to recruit them for our Land Use Work Group. The focus of this work group will be urban development as it relates to water quality and quality of life. Please let me know if you would like to be a member of this work group. Our first Land Use work group meeting is scheduled for Friday June 17, 2005 at 1:30pm here at the Citrus Research Center in Weslaco. Next week I will send out a formal meeting notice and an agenda.

This week a sub-group of the Habitat work group organized a field tour to see Valley examples of inland off-channel wetland habitats. We visited storm water detention ponds, the new Weslaco World Birding Center sponsored in part by Ducks Unlimited, a wildlife corridor associated with an irrigation canal, a wetland demonstration pond at a local middle school, and several drainage ditches. The effort was very productive and produced good ideas for our plan. I want to thank Alan Moore of Cameron County Drainage District No. 5 for sharing his experience in pond construction and in the management of drainage ditches. Our habitat work group is on a roll!

Our Wastewater Infrastructure work group is also making good progress on their component of the watershed protection plan. After the completion of very positive meetings with all the major dischargers to the Arroyo, a plan was drafted and then distributed to the municipalities and public utilities for their review and comment. We have received some comments on this DRAFT component of the plan and I encourage more response. We are planning follow-up meetings to get additional feed-back and to answer any questions about the Arroyo watershed protection plan.

Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!