Arroyo Colorado

March 13, 2014

Hello Arroyo Partners:

It has been, dare I say it, a wet winter in the RGV.  Just this past week, three separate cold fronts blew through the Valley with even more rain.  I received approximately 2 inches of rain at my house in La Feria over a three day period.  For the first time in a couple years, I had a very nice stand of bluebonnets bloom in my front yard.  All of the rain has been great for all of the native trees, plants and flowers.  There is new growth on all of the trees and buds and blooms throughout the watershed.  All of the rain should result in a spectacular display of colors this spring.  

The ACWP is hard at work writing the Update to the ACWPP.  We received a lot of feedback from stakeholders at three of our workgroup meetings held last month.  I want to encourage all of our Arroyo Partners to participate in the update.  I will have a draft of the update for our stakeholders to review in a couple of weeks.  I will send it out to our partners for review and incorporate any comments/suggestions that I receive in the next draft. 

Please mark your calendars for the upcoming events:

- The LRGV-TPDES Storm Water Task Force will be hosting their 16th Annual Lower Rio Grande Valley Storm Water Runoff Management and Planning Conference April 8-11 at the Pearl South Padre Resort, SPI, TX.  The conference will begin on April 8, with the offering of an 8-hr, Texas Floodplain Management Association (TFMA) Certified Floodplain Manager Course and Exam.  The technical session will be held from April 9-11.  Topics will include current issues related to TPDES storm water regulations, the new TCEQ MS4 TPDES permit, watershed protection plans, floodplain management, low impact development, non-point source pollution, funding, water research topics, and other water quality topics.

The conference will culminate in the Second Annual LRGV-TPDES Stormwater Task Force Fishing Tournament to benefit the Arroyo Colorado Conservancy to be held April 12.  The Captain’s meeting and weigh-in will be held at Tequila Sunset on South Padre Island.  Be sure to register for the tournament as soon as you can!

The Arroyo Colorado Conservancy will be hosting the Second Annual “SAVE THE ARROYO” Fiesta on October 9, at the Dargel Boats Showroom in Donna, TX.  The Fiesta is a membership drive/fundraising event to promote public awareness of the issues facing the Arroyo Colorado.  The ACC has partnered with Dargel Boats to hold a boat raffle as part of the Fiesta.  The ACC will raffle off a Dargel 186 Skout w/115HP Evinrude Motor & McClain Trailer.  The total package is valued at more than $35,000.  Tickets are $100 each, and only 400 will be printed. Odds are 1 in 400!   There will be door prizes, a bucket auction and a silent auction during the Fiesta leading up to the raffle.   I want to ask all of our Arroyo partners to help make this year’s “SAVE THE ARROYO” Fiesta even more successful than the last year.  We are still looking for sponsors for the event so if you are interested in being a sponsor or know someone who is interested, please have then contact me.  I just received great news: HEB just contacted me to let me know that they will once again be a sponsor for the Fiesta.  I also need your help selling the raffle tickets!  For tickets please contact Jaime Flores at 956-495-5532 or jjflores@ag.tamu.edu.

It is Spring Break and down here in the RGV and that means that the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and Rodeo is in full swing.  The RGVLS is celebrating its 75th anniversary and the show is bigger than it has ever been.  My son was an exhibitor at the show for the second time representing the Queen City 4-H club.  He had 2 projects; a mixed ornamental for the Horticulture division and a pen of broilers for the poultry division.  He placed reserved champion in his class in the Horticulture division and 21st in the poultry division.  Once again, being at the show took me back to my childhood and flooded me with memories of being a 4-H member of the same club and showing my own projects.  It was great watching him during the judging in the same arena that my Dad and I had both “showed” in.  It was also bittersweet because this was the first show that my Dad wasn't with us.  He passed last September but his love for the show and raising poultry lives on.  I want tothank all of the County Extension Agents and their staff and all of the 4-H & FFA leaders, parents and volunteers for all of the hard work they do leading up to and during the Livestock Show.  These people have a real impact on the kids that participate in all of the 4-H & FFA events and livestock shows.  They teach them life lessons; responsibility, determination, perseverance and self reliance, characteristics that will help them through the rest of their lives. 

Looking ahead,
Jaime Flores, P.G.