Arroyo Colorado

December 14, 2007

Seasons Greetings Arroyo Partners,

First of all, a correction to the previous update must be made. The regional detention facility (RDF) in McAllen located at Daffodil and 29th Street is part of McAuliffe Elementary School, named after Challenger's civilian astronaut Christa McAuliffe. And I failed to mention another impressive RDF in McAllen located at Col. Rowe (2nd St.) and Harvey at Jackson Elementary School. These facilities are multi-functional and beautiful and a model on how storm water runoff can be managed. Larry Pressler, McAllen Parks Director, the McAllen ISD, and others need to be recognized for the innovation and cooperation that went into the development of these facilities. The grant proposal to study these facilities was submitted the end of last month.

The Arroyo grant writing team has been busy developing three additional grant proposals. Two of the proposals are for EPA Educational grants. One proposal is to develop public service announcements (PSAs) in both English and Spanish. This need is based on the social market survey conducted during the development of the Arroyo Colorado WPP that revealed gross lack of awareness and understanding of Arroyo Colorado and its water quality issues. We hope to develop the PSA to raise awareness and bring more individuals to action. The second proposal is to revise an existing environmental curriculum on the Arroyo Colorado and train area teachers about our watershed and what we can all do to improve its quality.

Next Monday, December 17, 2007, from 2 pm to 4:30 pm is an Arroyo Wetland Meeting. All Partners are invited and I especially encourage all Habitat and Wastewater Infrastructure Work Group members to attend. The creation of individual and regional wetlands is top priority of the ACWPP and this work crosses over both work groups. Attached is the agenda for this meeting including meeting location. Note that representatives from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will be there to provide a project overview and to answer any questions. Representatives from the cities of San Juan, Mercedes, La Feria and San Benito will also be there to share project experiences and present preliminary designs on their individual wetlands projects. Additionally, wetland experts, Dr. John Day and Dr. Kim Jones, will present their experiences with constructed wetlands. This should prove to be a very informative meeting and an excellent forum for the exchange of experience and information regarding the many aspects of developing a constructed wetland.

Have a great weekend and hope to see you on Monday,

Laura