Arroyo Colorado

November 1, 2005

Arroyo Partners,

The month of October ended with two very productive work group meetings and a successful conference which highlighted the Arroyo Colorado watershed protection planning effort.

The Habitat work group met on October 18th with twenty-three (23) partners in attendance. It was a very informative meeting. Loretta Mokry and Tim Noack of Alan Plummer Associates, Inc. (APAI) provided a progress report on the feasibility study for habitat restoration/modification to improve water quality in the Arroyo. They presented a list of potential facilities, programs, and/or strategies along with brief descriptions, schematics, photographs, and additional information from references sources. In short, they provided us with a quality tool box of systems and strategies for water quality improvement. From a long list of items, the work group selected ten treatments systems to be evaluated in depth. Currently, APAI is working with that list and will present the results of their studies at the next habitat work group meeting being planned for December. Kudos to the efforts of the habitat work group and our consultants.

On October 19th the Wastewater Infrastructure work group met with another good show of attendance. Questions concerning the draft wastewater component of the plan were addressed along with updates on local wastewater improvements efforts and potential funding sources. Ms. Mokry then provided another excellent presentation focusing on point source treatment systems. She discussed constructions wetlands (both individual and regional systems), polishing ponds, chemical nutrient removal, and reuse options. Again, reuse and constructed wetlands appear to be the most viable options for nutrient load reductions associated with wastewater effluent.

It is now time to introduce some new partners that will be assisting us in the education and outreach component of our plan. Karen Ford of White Hat Creative, and Susan Poag and Cathy Schechter of SUMA/Orchard Social Marketing, Inc. have been hired to conduct a market survey and to help promote the development and implementation of our plan. The results of their efforts will be recommendations and materials for an effective outreach campaign to promote long-term stewardship of our precious watershed. And our watershed includes people, land, water, and animals. Welcome and congratulations to Karen, Susan, and Cathy! Our next Education and Outreach meeting is scheduled for November 8th, 5pm-7pm at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, 2415 E. Hwy 83 in Weslaco, Room 157.

I end this update with a reminder that our next Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for November 10th from 3:00 pm to 6pm. It will be held in the Rio Red Classroom of the TAMUK Citrus Research Center on 312 N. International Blvd in Weslaco. Note that we have changed the meeting time from early evening to late afternoon. Please let me know if this is inconvenient for you and we will consider a later meeting.

Thanks for your time and support,