Arroyo Colorado

September 5, 2008

Dear Arroyo Partners,

First of all, I want thank and acknowledge McAllen Public Works for sponsoring the food and social at this past Arroyo Colorado Steering Committee meeting held on August 21. It was my last meeting in the position of watershed coordinator, however by no means my last Partnership meeting. I was nominated and approved as a new Steering Committee member along with Patrick Daize, Area Operation Manager of the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission. Patrick will be replacing Rick Reyes.

Along with workgroup updates, a major topic of discussion was again, the question of forming a 501c3 for the Partnership and what that would look like. It was decided to begin drafting the necessary documents and supporting information (including names of individuals to serve on the board of directors) to pursue the formation of a 501c3. The current Steering Committee members will be asked to make recommendations for board members and these individuals will be asked to participate in the planning process. The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council and Texas Water Resources Institute need to be recognized for their support of our efforts to become a self-sustaining organization.

Other entities that deserve recognition are Texas State Soil Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) and the Valley Land Fund. The TSSWCB is currently funding four Arroyo Colorado projects including cost share for agricultural producers implementing best management practices within the Arroyo Colorado Watershed. And the Valley Land Fund has pledged to take a lead in implementing several of the actions items listed in the habitat component of the plan.

All workgroup meeting summaries as well as the summary from the Steering Committee meeting will be posted on the Arroyo Colorado Web site soon.

Mark your calendars for two upcoming Valley events. On September 25, the McAllen Recycling Center - Public Works and the McAllen Parks and Recreation Department are sponsoring a demonstration of the application of compost/mulch for erosion control. It will be held at 9:00 a.m. at Jackson City/School Park at 2nd Street and Harvey in McAllen. See attached for more information.

Another worthwhile event is the LRGV-AIA Building Communities Conference. It will be held at the McAllen Convention Center on September 26-27, 2008. Go to www.lrgvaia.org for more information.

The search for a new watershed coordinators continues. If you are interested or know of someone who would like to serve the Arroyo Colorado Watershed, the job is posted at http://greatjobs.tamu.edu and refer to the title, "Program Coordinator", NOV # 03680 to apply.

In closing, it has been a true honor serving as watershed coordinator for the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership. I cherish the experience and value the opportunity to meet such a diverse group of Valley residents and community leaders.  It has been a true pleasure working in this position and I will miss many aspects of the job. . The Valley has definitely grown on me and I am happy to retain residence here.  I look forward to continued work with the Partnership in the clean-up of the Arroyo Colorado.

Our efforts in the watershed will continue and please do not hesitate to contact the new watershed coordinator once they get on board. In the meantime, you may send any correspondence related to the Arroyo Colorado to the email address, ldelagarza@ag.tamu.edu as this account will remain open and the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) will continue to answer your questions, concerns or requests sent to this address. Cecilia Wagner with TWRI is also available in the interim and can be reached at cecilia@tamu.edu.

If you would like to keep in touch with me, please note my  personal email address, delalaura@gmail.com.

Hope to see you at our next round of meetings,

Laura