Arroyo Colorado

January 6, 2015

Hello Arroyo Partners:

It has been a wet Fall-Winter here in the Rio Grande Valley.  I have received approximately 25 inches of rain at my house in La Feria from September–December 2014!  Based on the most current Drought Monitor map, most of the RGV has moved from D3-Extreme drought to not being in a drought.  There is still one section of western Hidalgo Co. and most of Willacy Co that is listed as D0-Abnormally dry.  I am hoping we continue to get enough rain through the rest of winter to break the drought completely and fill our reservoirs for a while.  The weather prognosticators are calling for an Arctic blast to reach the RGV tonight/tomorrow and predicting rain for the rest of the week.  I will keep you posted.

I want to remind everyone that the ACWP will be holding three of their Work Group meetings in February.

The Agriculture Issues Workgroup meeting will be held on February 19, from 9-11 am at the Texas A&M Agrilife Research and Extension Center located at 2401 E. Hwy 83 in Weslaco.

The Arroyo Colorado Habitat Workgroup meeting will be held on February 19, 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 February 19, 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. 

The focus of all of the meetings will be on reviewing the latest draft of Update of the ACWPP.  The Partnership has already developed and revised 2 drafts of the document based on stakeholder comments. The meetings will be “working” meetings where we will do through the current draft of the Phase II as a group.  We need you, our Arroyo Partners and stakeholders to review the draft and provide us with your opinions, comments and suggestions.  We will use your stakeholder input to help guide and develop the Update to ensure that we produce a sound, watershed based plan that will ultimately result in improved water quality for the Arroyo Colorado and Lower Laguna Madre.  I hope to see y’all there.

The ACWP will be hosting a photo contest to get recent photos for the Update of the ACWPP.  We are asking the public to submit photos of the Arroyo Colorado and native plants and animals found in the watershed to be included in Phase II of the ACWPP.  Of all of the photos submitted, the ACWP Photo contest committee, will select the very best photos to be included in the Update.  Of the photos selected by the committee, one photo will be selected as the Grand Champion and be used as the photograph for the cover of the Update and receive a $250 prize.  There will also be a special Arroyo Colorado Logo category with a $500 prize.  The ACWP’s logo is the Ringed Kingfisher sitting on a branch with a small fish in its beak.  We are asking for you to try and replicate the logo through photography.  The photograph must be taken from within the Arroyo Colorado watershed and during the contest period.  It will be the responsibility of the photographer to provide the proper evidence, date, time, GPS coordinates, to demonstrate that the photograph is valid and meets the requirements of the contest.  The contest period will begin October1, 2014 and end January 31, 2016.  For more information and contest rules go to the Arroyo Colorado website

I want to remind everyone that for the 14th consecutive year, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is offering free Soil Tests for agricultural producers in Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy Counties.  The Soil Testing Campaign has had various sources of funding over the years, but the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership has been proudly funding the campaign since 2008 through grants provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.  The Soil Testing Campaign began on October 1st, 2014 and will run through the end of February, 2015. 

The Soil Testing Campaign offers free soil analysis to agricultural producers in Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy Counties.  Soil sample bags and forms can be picked up and dropped off at the following locations:

Cameron County FSA Office
2315 W Expressway 83
San Benito, TX 78586-7633
cameron-tx@tamu.edu

Hidalgo County Office
410 N 13th Ave
Edinburg, TX 78541-3582
(956) 383-1026
hidalgo-tx@tamu.edu

Willacy County Office
170 N 3rd Street
Raymondville, TX 78580-1940
(956) 689-2412
willacy-tx@tamu.edu

District 12 Office
2401 East Highway 83
Weslaco, TX 78596-8344
(956) 968-5581
d12south@ag.tamu.edu

Test results will be mailed directly to the producer and County Extension Agents are available to help further interpret test results if needed.  We encourage producers to take advantage of this free service that has the potential to save them money and improve the water quality of the Arroyo Colorado.  For more information or questions please contact Ashley Gregory at (956) 968-5581 or at ahgregory@ag.tamu.edu.

Looking ahead,
Jaime Flores