Arroyo Colorado

February 10, 2006

Hola Arroyo Partners!

Our consultants have been producing for us. Acknowledgements and kudos goes out the Habitat Work Group and Alan Plummer Associates, Inc. for finalizing the technical report titled "Feasibility Study for Habitat Restoration/Modification to Improve Water Quality in the Arroyo Colorado". This document, identifying strategies to enhance both water quality and habitat, was delivered to me the end of last month and we have been putting it to use. Aside from using it to draft portions of the plan, I have shared it with a couple of our partners from San Benito and San Juan, as we take the first steps to convert existing ponds into enhanced treatment facilities. I am working to make it available online by the end of next week. Again, thanks to all who had part in the process to produce this valuable "toolbox"!

SUMA/Orchard, our social marketing consultants, has conducted three focus group meetings and one more is scheduled for the end of this month. They have gained valuable insight of people's knowledge of the Arroyo Colorado (note they advised me not to call it just the Arroyo). They have confirmed that awareness of Arroyo Colorado issues decreases the further a person lives upstream. These preliminary meetings reveal that upper Valley residents are familiar with the Floodway but many do not connection it to the Arroyo Colorado and the Lower Laguna Madre. Again, the information gained from these meeting has gone into the design of the telephone survey which is scheduled to begin next week.

Two work group meeting are scheduled. The Agricultural Issues Work Group will meet next Wednesday, February 15, 2006 from 10 AM to 12 Noon in the Rio Red Classroom of the Citrus Research Center in Weslaco and the Wastewater Issues work group will meet on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 from 10 AM to 12 Noon in the same Rio Red Classroom. These are important meetings because we will be finalizing elements of this phase one plan. The results of these meetings and the Draft Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan (ACWPP) are scheduled to be presented to the Steering Committee and greater Partnership on March 30, 2006.

The Aeration/Weir field trip is scheduled for next week on February 14, 2006. We will meet here at the Citrus Center at 2:30 PM and go to a couple of sites. Again, if you are interested in going please let me know.

The drafting of the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan is coming along. I am still awaiting a few sections from the work groups and hope to start sending out chapters for your review by the end of this month.

Again, thank you for your time, interest, and participation!

Laura