Arroyo Colorado

July 31, 2008

Dear Arroyo Partners,

I hope all have recovered from Hurricane Dolly and that life is getting back to normal. As you know, we had three Arroyo meetings scheduled the day Dolly made landfall; the following are the times and dates for the rescheduled meetings:

All meetings will be held in the Rio Red Classroom of the Citrus Center in Weslaco.

Work continues on developing grant proposals. We are finalizing a proposal to submit to the Coastal Impact Assessment Program (CIAP) to do a preferred site analysis for a regional wetland system in Cameron County. Another CIAP grant proposal will be for an individual wetland system for Rio Hondo.

The most recent request for proposals (RFP) is from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 319 FY09 program. Our Partnership needs to submit something in regards to nonpoint source (NPS) pollution (non-ag or non-silvicultural NPS) education, implementation, and/or demonstration. Projects dealing with permitted activities (wastewater discharge, storm water permits, etc) are not allowed. However, any other projects that implement measures to restore the Arroyo Colorado or reduce loads will be considered.

This is a call for project ideas/wish lists. We can develop 2-3 proposals on behalf of cities, counties, and other Arroyo Partners. Please let me know if you would like our grant writing team to work with you on developing a proposal for a project that will reduce nutrient and bacteria loading to the Arroyo Colorado and Lower Laguna Madre. Again, wetlands are a top priority of our watershed protection plan. These TCEQ 319 funds will help support plan implementation measures such wetland development, urban NPS demonstration projects, and outreach and education within the Arroyo Colorado watershed.

Project proposal ideas will be discussed at the upcoming Habitat Workgroup and Steering Committee meetings. However, if you have some suggestions or ideas, please send them our way as soon as you can. We would like to have a head start on getting the proposals together as the deadline is September 14, 2008.

On a final note, next Thursday, August 7, 2008, is an Arroyo Colorado Luncheon to promote environmental stewardship in the LRGV by raising awareness of environmental issues and community efforts to address these issues. State Representatives Veronica Gonzales of District 41 and Eddie Lucio, III of District 38 will be there to say a few words and I will do a presentation on the value of environmental stewardship. The luncheon will be at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce starting at 11:30 a.m. The event is free, but seating is limited. To register, call 682-3481 or email Ludy Saenz, by Monday, August 4 and let her know if you prefer a chicken or eggplant entree. The lunch is sponsored by Valley Wal Mart stores and the Lower Rio Grande Water Committee and presented by the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council.

Thanks for your continued interest and support,