Arroyo Colorado

July 16, 2010

Hello Arroyo Partners:

Since the last bimonthly update, the Rio Grande Valley narrowly missed a direct hit from Hurricane Alex and Tropical Depression #2. Instead, these storms moved into Northern Mexico dumping enormous amounts of water into the recharge zone of the Amistad and Falcon Reservoirs. All of that rain made it's way down the mountains of Northern Mexico and slowly began to overwhelm both reservoirs and the Rio Grande River creating widespread flooding all the way back to Del Rio. To alleviate the flooding, water has had to be released from both reservoirs. For the first time since 1988, the IBWC has had to divert this floodwater into the Arroyo Colorado and the North Floodway. As of this morning, the Rio Grande River was still rising and threatening to flood more homes and property all along the banks of the River. The floodway is at its highest level ever seen by most people in the Rio Grande Valley. When you cross the floodway between Mercedes and Weslaco on Hwy 83, it looks like you are on the way to South Padre Island going over the Lower Laguna Madre. With more water scheduled to be released, there is growing concern that the floodway may not be able to handle so much water. We can only hope and pray that it does!

I want to remind everyone that the ACWP will be holding two of their Work Group meetings next week.

The Arroyo Colorado Habitat Workgroup meeting will be held on July 22, 2010 from 2-4 pm at the Estero Llano Grande World Birding Center located at 3301 S. FM 1015.

The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership will be hosting an Arroyo Colorado Steering Committee meeting on July 22, from 5-7 pm. Food and refreshments will be served from 4:30-5:00 pm. The meeting will be held at The Estero Llano Grande World Birding Center located at 3301 S. FM 1015.

After the ACSC meeting, The TCEQ will host a public meeting to gather information for a Recreational Use Attainability Analysis (RUAA) survey for the Arroyo Colorado. The purpose of the survey is to determine actual and potential recreational uses in the Arroyo and, if necessary, to assign a more appropriate use.

Please mark your calendars for the upcoming events:

There are two weeks left to submit entries for The Valley Land Fund's annual Youth Photo Contest and plenty of wildlife out and about after recent rains! Entry is free and all participants between 6 and 18-years old will receive a free tee shirt in addition to a chance to win cash prizes! Contest guidelines and entry forms can be downloaded at: www.ValleyLandFund.com. NOTE THAT THE DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES IS NOON, FRIDAY, JULY 30th.

Quinta Mazatlan will host FREE camps the next two Saturdays - Youth Photographers from 6-18 years are encouraged to attend. July 17 - 9:00 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. Attendees will have take pictures at Quinta Mazatlan, learn how to enhance images on freeware; staff will also be on hand to assist with entry forms and contest requirements.

July 24 - 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Digital Art Workshop by Paul Denman-Prepare your Digital Art category submissions by learning about a simple and free photo editing program.

Contact Information: Michele Vela, Valley Land Fund, 2400 N. 10th Street, McAllen, TX 78501, 956-686-6429, Michele_Vela@hotmail.com

If you have any suggestions or topics for the upcoming workgroup meetings, please contact me. There is a lot of water in the LLM. People that are boating and fishing have to be extra careful to make sure they make it home safely.

Looking ahead,
Jaime J Flores