April 19, 2007
Hola Arroyo Partners!
First of all, we need to acknowledge and thank all the people who organized and participated in the All Valley Trash Bash last weekend. Special thanks to Valley Proud Environmental Council and the cities who organized this event. As you know, illegal dumping and the throwing of trash onto the ground is a big problem here in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Recently, while driving around with Andy Garza, Regional Manager of the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and Steering Committee Member, we could not help but notice a number of illegal dumping sites. We were out looking for another drainage ditch to monitor as part of the agricultural nonpoint source assessment project and kept coming across trash and illegal dump sites.
According to the Texas Strategic Plan (TNRCC 2002) there are 14, 547 illegal dump sites in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy Counties and illegal dumping ranks third in terms of serious concerns expressed by local residents; water quantity and quality are the top concerns. In this light, this is a reminder to report illegal dumping and to support our cities and counties in dealing with this solid waste issue.
This Sunday April 22nd is Earth Day. The theme of this year is "A Call for Action on Climate Change". Given that the United States accounts of 5% of the world population and produces 25% of the greenhouse gases, there is a call to reduce carbon emissions. One simple thing we can do is change to compact fluorescent light bulbs. They last longer than the typical incandescent light bulb and use less energy. If every household in the U.S. replaced one light bulb with a CFL, it would prevent enough pollution to equal removing one million cars from the road (www.earthday.net/resources/2006materials/cf-facts.aspx). Check out the attached fact sheet; baby steps like this one can get us moving in the direction of a healthier environment.
In regards to our watershed, this Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership is an example of environmental stewardship and community partnership working to protect natural resources, prevent pollution, and restore natural habitat. Our cities and farmers are doing their part to improve water quality and as individuals the following is a reminder of a few things we can do:
- Support local efforts to repair or replace outdated wastewater treatment facilities and infrastructure.
- Support habitat conservation and restoration projects and preservation of open lands, farmland and green spaces.
- Learn about wetlands-their ability to cleanse water and their value as wildlife habitat, as well as the opportunities they provide for experiencing nature.
- Volunteer with environmental projects in your community.
Have a great weekend,