Arroyo Colorado

March 17, 2006

Hola Arroyo Partners,

Happy Spring! I am officially on spring break today but wanted to give an update on the progress being made to draft the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan.

First of all, the "Final Technical Report: Feasibility Study for Habitat Restoration/Modification to Improve Water Quality in the Arroyo Colorado" is posted on www.arroyocolorado.org. Go to Watershed Info and then on the left column, click on Data and Reports to find the final technical report and discussion document. This report list and discusses strategies to treat nonpoint source, point source, and collective pollution sources. The report also shows estimated loading of pollutants by sub-basin in order to identify areas within the watershed where the greatest potential for substantial improvement can be realized based on historical data. There are good graphics and maps in this report along with estimated cost of construction and operation and maintenance, limitations, and effectiveness of these strategies, so please check this report out.

Plan Components. The first final draft of the Wastewater Infrastructure component of the plan is out for comment from work group members and I will work to get that documented posted by the end of next week for the greater Partnership. The Habitat component is currently under peer review and I will post that document as soon as possible. Our consultants for the Outreach and Education component of the plan have begun the telephone survey and they will be providing us a report on their findings in the near future.

Things are moving along however the pollution loading reduction from the current drafted components of the plan results in about a total 10-15% reduction. We need to identify additional ways loading reductions can be realized and I will be working with a number of our Partners to decrease the amount of nutrients entering the Arroyo Colorado and Laguna Madre. Note that we will be gaining additional reductions from the recommendation proposed by the Storm Water Task Force and TAMUK, and additional reductions can be gained from working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They are willing to work us in the way of providing land for emergent wetland systems to treat

nonpoint runoff from our farms and cities, and from our wastewater treatment facilities. I will be contacting a few more cities to discuss the possibility of enhanced treatment of their effluent and storm water runoff. Note that we have commitments from seven (7) cites to improve ponds systems or construct wetlands for additional treatment of their effluent. Again, this commitment is based land availability and funding and a major part of my job after this plan is drafted will be to find and coordinated funding opportunities.

Happy St. Patrick's Day,

Laura