Arroyo Colorado

February 27, 2008

Dear Arroyo Partners!

The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) has issued a new advisory against eating longnose gar caught in the above tidal segment of the Arroyo Colorado due to elevated levels of DDE, PCBs, and mercury. DDE is a chemical that comes from the breakdown of the pesticide DDT and PCBs are industrial chemicals; both chemicals have been banned from use. Mercury is a naturally occurring element that gets into air and water from the weathering of the earth's crust, from the burning of fossil fuels and from some industrial discharges and emissions.

The longnose gar now joins the ranks of the smallmouth buffalo, a fish with an existing consumption warning. See the Web site announcement for the full report characterizing the potential adverse effects associated with the consumption of these fish caught from the Arroyo Colorado. Attached are pictures of the listed fish. Note that the longnose gar is NOT the same as an alligator gar – called catan in Spanish. The next Arroyo newsletter will provide more information regarding this fish consumption advisory and warning.

Work continues on grant applications. We are in the process of finalizing a grant proposal for an U.S. EPA Region 6 –Strategic Agricultural Initiative Program grant. Texas AgriLife Extension Service (formally Texas Cooperative Extension) proposes to work with several partners to implement an integrated farm management education program focused on pesticide, water (irrigation), nutrient, and production management practices. Their proposed education program will address how the use of pesticides and fertilizers affect water quality and demonstration activities will present best management practices that producers can adopt to transition away from high risk pesticides to lower risk pesticides and sustainable practices in food production.

TAMU Kingsville is working to finalize a CWA 319 proposal to study the storm water detention facilities in McAllen in order to make recommendations on how these designs can be improved for water quality improvements. And a special task group has started work on a proposal to fund regional wetlands.

I need some assistance. We will be setting up an Arroyo Colorado booth at the Mercedes Live Stock Show March 7th through March 10th and I need some help in manning the booth. Please let me know if you can lend at least four hours of your time. You will be provided with entrance and parking passes. Contact me at lauradlg@tamu.edu, or (956) 969-5607.

Hope you are enjoying this marvelous weather,

Laura