Arroyo Colorado

February 9, 2009

Hello Arroyo Partners:

The Agricultural Issues Workgroup, Habitat Workgroup and Steering Committee held their meetings on January 26th, and were quite productive.  Everyone that attended was updated on the ongoing efforts of each workgroup as well as informed about the many challenges that the ACWP still faces.  I would like to thank the LRGV-TPDES Storm Water Task Force for sponsoring the food and drinks at the Steering Committee meeting. We will be posting the summaries of the meetings on the Web site soon.

One of the topics that was revisited was the sustainability of our Partnership. We have a lot of options and are interested in hearing from you as to the best way for us to succeed beyond federal support. If you have experience with leading a local supported organization, please contact me as we would like your input. One of our options includes applying for 501c3 status, which involves identifying three potential board members to direct the Arroyo Colorado Partnership. If you have someone in mind or you would like to nominate yourself, please feel free to contact me. We encourage and need your involvement as we begin this new phase of our partnership.

The LRGV-TPDES Storm Water Task Force and the ACWP are still conducting local school classroom presentations throughout the Valley.  Since the Workgroup and SC meetings we have presented to another eight schools.  We have had great feedback from the principals, curriculum directors, teachers and the students.  The Task Force is developing curriculum for the teachers so they can continue engaging the students after the presentation.  These kids are going to have an uphill battle to save the Arroyo.  They need to know about the problems that our water bodies are facing.

Ouina Rutledge, the Renewable Resources Manager for the City of McAllen, is pleased to announce that The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council awarded the City a grant for the construction of a Compost Demonstration and Education Garden.  The ribbon cutting/reception ceremony will be February 12th at 10:00am. We hope everyone that is interested can attend.  For more information please call or email Ouina at 956-681-4050, orutledge@mcallen.net.

The Friends of South Texas Refuges have announced that the 10th Annual Ocelot Festival will be held this Saturday, Feb. 14th. from 10am to 5pm.  It is being held at the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen.  For more information contact Stacy Sanchez at (956)748-3607 x115 or at stacy_sanchez@fws.gov or visit www.friendsofsouthtexasrefuges.org.

Jerry Durham, the Education & Public Programs Director for the International Museum of Arts & Science, would like to invite everyone to the museum for World Water Day on March 21st.  IMAS will have several presentations and activities related to water and water conservation.

The Arroyo Colorado Partnership and the LRGV-TPDES Task Force are planning several storm drain marker installation activities in conjunction with civic groups throughout the Valley.  I will make sure to keep everyone informed as the information becomes available.

The entire Rio Grande Valley could really use some rain.  It is amazing that just six months ago, we were overwhelmed with the amount of rain that Dolly dropped on us.  Now we are looking to the sky, hoping for more.

Looking ahead,

Jaime Flores