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Education Projects

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Agricultural NPS Remediation in the Cedar Creek Reservoir Watershed

Project Goals/Objectives: This project consists of the Kaufmann-Van Zandt Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB), United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Urban Solutions Center at Dallas, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Water Resource Institute (TWRI), and Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) working together to implement agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) and education programs in the Kaufmann-Van Zandt

BMPs to Reduce Nitrate Impacts in Ground Water and to Assess Atrazine and Arsenic Occurrences in Private Water Wells

Project Goals/Objectives: Demonstrate the effectiveness of winter cover crops in removing nitrate-nitrogen from the soil profile to minimize nitrate leaching; Demonstrate the ability of zeolite to reduce atrazine and arsenic concentrations in water; Assess the extent of atrazine and arsenic detections in private groundwater in the Seymour and Ogallala Aquifers.

Project Location: The Texas High Plains (Ogallala Aquifer) and Texas Rolling Plains (Seymour Aquifer)

Broad-based Communication and Forecasting for Environmental Quality

Project Goals/Objectives: The goal of this project is to develop a plan of action to create and maintain a website for water quality & other environmental issues and environmental quality broadcast spots to educate the public in the target watersheds in partnership with StormCenter Communications Inc.

Building Partnerships for Cooperative Conservation in the Trinity River Basin

Project Goals/Objectives: The goal of this project is to develop a peer network of private landowners engaged in cooperative conservation to advance the restoration and protection of water quality within the Trinity River Basin by:

Coastal Prairie Wetland Restoration at Sheldon Lake State Park

Project Goals/Objectives: The overall objectives of this project are to:

Continued Statewide Delivery of the Texas Watershed Steward Program

Project Background:All watersheds in Texas are threatened by nonpoint sources (NPS) of pollution which are detrimental to the valuable water resources of the state. To help combat this threat, federal and state water resource management agencies have adopted a watershed-scale approach for managing water quality. One vital component of this approach involoves engaging local stakeholders to become actively involved in planning and implementing water resources managment and protection programs in their watershed.

Creekside Conservation Program

Valuable soil from thousands of acres is washed into tributaries and lakes every year.  Gullies and bare rock now exist where once rich topsoil and healthy plants occurred.  As farmers and ranchers lose topsoil to erosion, land productivity decreases.  Waterways also suffer from sedimentation and nonpoint source (NPS) pollution.  This sediment can build up to create flood management problems, threaten aquatic habitats, impair water quality, and reduce groundwater recharge.

Delivering Education Programs Focused on Stakeholder Needs to Address Agricultural NPS in the Arroyo Colorado Watershed

Project Goals/Objectives: Project goals are to: Distribute and develop materials needed to educate agricultural producers focused on technical information of BMPs; Educate agricultural producers on various financial and technical assistance programs available to help implement and pay for BMPs; Host field tours with producers currently using BMPs to highlight their effectiveness; Host demonstrations for agricultural producers to observe the effects of BMPs; Increase the number of producers that participate in incentive programs and install BMPs; Host a soil testing campaign

Development and Implementation of an Environmental Training Program for Manure and Compost Haulers/Applicators in the Texas High

This project will be the first of its kind that targets a diverse group of stakeholders and is specific to the independent business relationship (feedyards, manure/compost haulers, certified crop advisors and crop producers) and cropping systems that are implemented in the Texas High Plains. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) is uniquely situated to facilitate the development and implementation of this environmental training curriculum.

Development of a Synergistic, Comprehensive Statewide Lone Star Healthy Streams Program

The unified LSHS Program will bring the amassed body of work together under the umbrella of the Lone Star Healthy Streams Program and provide a coordinated and comprehensive education program designed to increase awareness of the bacteria issues associated with grazing and dairy cattle, poultry, horses, and feral hogs; and encourage voluntary implementation of BMPs to reduce the runoff of bacteria which will ultimately lead to improved water quality.

This project will continue and expand by:

Education of Best Management Practices in the Arroyo Colorado Watershed

Project Goals/Objectives: The overall objective of this project is to educate agricultural producers on how to better produce and manage their acreage while reducing the potential for nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. Secondly, the project will support and promote associated programs implementing best management practices related to water quality protection.

Evaluation and demonstration of VTA effectiveness to protect runoff water quality on small pork production facilities in Texas

Project Goals/Objectives: The goal of this project is to demonstrate and evaluate VTA effectiveness at small pork operations and transfer findings to natural resource agencies and pork producers.

Project Location: Martinez Creek in Bexar County, Big Elm Creek in Bell County, Wickson Creek in Brazos County, Little Brazos River in Robertson County

Implementation of the Leon River WPP through Technical and Financial Assistance to Repair or Replace OSSFs in Hamilton County

Project Goals/Objectives:1) Identify and inspect on-site sewage facilities (OSSFs); 2) To promote the availability of technical and financial assistance to homeowners; 3) To provide technical and financial assistance to homeowners for the repair, replacement, or removal of OSSFs; 4) Educate the homeowners on proper OSSF maintenance; 5) Educate inspectors, installers, and maintenance providers on proper installation, inspection, operation and maintenance of OSSFs

Implementing Educational Components of the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan Focused on Agricultural NPS Pollution

Project Goals/Objectives: 1) Developing a focused education effort on cost-share programs and Best Management Plans that protect water quality 2) Educating agricultural producers on how to better manage their acreage to reduce the potential for NPS pollution 3) Supporting and promoting cost-share programs that foster implementation of BMPs to protect water quality 4) Increasing the number of producers that participate in cost-share programs, adopt Water Quality Management Plans and install Best Managment Plans

LCRA Soil and Water Stewardship Program

The problem of soil erosion on farms, ranches and rangeland in the lower Colorado River basin can be attributed to overgrazing, a lack of vegetative, or riparian, buffers along creeks and other waterways, and the spread of invasive brush species that choke out native vegetation. As a result, thousands of acres of valuable soil wash into the waterways of the lower Colorado River basin every year. The result is build-up of sediment, which can harm water quality, worsen flooding and threaten aquatic habitats.

Lone Star Healthy Streams

According to the draft 2004 Water Quality Inventory and 303(d) List, 306 waterbodies are impaired in Texas with a total of 419 impairments. Of these, approximately half of the impairments are the result of excessive bacteria. Bacterial source tracking work completed in a number of these waterbodies (e.g., Peach Creek, Leon River) has identified a noticeable contribution from grazing cattle to the bacteria loading of these streams.

Monitoring and Educational Programs Focused on Bacteria and Nutrient Runoff on Dairy Operations in the Leon Watershed

Project Goals/Objectives: The overall objective of the project is to collect watershed specific data in an effort to quantify the major sources of E. coli bacteria on dairy operations. Information and data collected during the monitoring phase will be used in the development of an educational program focusing on best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the movement of E. coli bacteria and nutrients to surface waters.

Nueces Basin Headwaters Stewardship Project

The Nueces River Authority, with CWA §319(h) funding through the TSSWCB, implemented an innovative education project aimed at improving and protecting water quality in five Nueces Basin headwate

PLAN for Tomorrow: Poultry Litter Application on New Sites

Project Goals/Objectives: Educate 3rd party applicators of poultry litter to the environmental benefits of using proper application management techniques beginning on Day 1 of application on new sites; Demonstrate that poultry litter can be land applied in an environmentally friendly manner that supplies necessary crop nutrients without increasing nutrient levels in runoff and that multiple objectives (such as: profitability, resource utilization, and water quality protection) can be met with this fertilization strategy.

Preventing Water Quality Contamination Through the Texas Well Owner Network

Project Goals/Objectives: The Texas Well Owner Network (TWON) is a Statewide project designed to deliver a science-based, community-responsive education curriculum. The TWON will focus on protecting groundwater quality and aquifer integrity, but also will complement the successful Texas Watershed Stewards program by emphasizing BMPs addressing potential contamination of surface water by sources also contaminating private domestic and irrigation wells and jeopardizing aquifer integrity.

Reducing Atrazine Losses in Central Texas

Project Goals/Objectives: Demonstrate the effects of alternative tillage practices and atrazine application practices on protecting water quality by reducing atrazine losses; Develop educational materials and present the demonstration results at agricultural meetings, field days, and conferences; Validate the CroPMan simulation model with measured atrazine losses to facilitate simulating long-term losses of atrazine and the probabilities of meeting EPA standard for safe drinking water; Analyze the economic costs, profits, and the cost effectiveness of alternative tillage me

Statewide Delivery of LSHS Feral Hog Component and Providing Technical Assistance on Feral Hog Management in Priority Watersheds

Project Goals/Description: This project will initiate statewide implementation of the feral hog management education program by conducting watershed-based trainings in selected watersheds. Priority watersheds will be selected in collaboration with development or implementation phases of WPPs or TMDLs. Other watersheds may be selected based on need and in response to collaborations with other groups and organizations, including river authorities, SWCDs, local citizen groups/watershed associations.

Statewide Delivery of Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program

Project Goals/Objectives: Riparian degradation is a major threat to water quality, in-stream habitat, terrestrial wildlife, aquatic species, and overall stream health. The State of Texas has more than 200,000 miles of rivers and streams that, along with closely associated floodplain and upland areas, comprise corridors of great economic, social, cultural, and environmental value.

Statewide Delivery of the Texas Well Owner Network

Project Goals/Objectives: This project will continue statewide implementation of the TWON program. Watersheds and aquifers will be selected in collaboration with the TSSWCB and with input from other interested groups including groundwater conservation districts (GCDs), County Extension Agents (CEAs), river authorities and Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). Many of the watersheds and aquifers selected are described in the Texas NPS Management Program or identified as impaired in the 2012 Texas Integrated Report.

Texas Silvicultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Abatement and Prevention Project

Project Goals/Objectives: The goal of this project is to protect water quality during forestry operations. This is achieved by developing and refining BMPs based on scientific evidence, promoting their adoption, and monitoring their implementation. For more information on Forestry BMPs, please visit the Texas Forest Service website.

Project Location: East Texas

Project Costs: Federal ($574,521); Non Federal Match ($383,014); Total ($957,535)

Texas Silvicultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention and Abatement

Project Goals/Objectives:  The major goals of this project is to protect and improve water quality in Texas.  The extensive education, training, and outreach components of this project will lead to an increase in forestry BMP implementation, as well as preventing unnecessary erosion and sedimentation from occurring.  Another goal is to provide technical assistance to the forestry community on emerging issues – biomass, urban forestry, and land stewardship in Central Texas.  Lastly, effectively coordinating project efforts with Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs),

The Impact of Proper Organic Fertilizer Management in Production of Agriculture

Project Goals/Objectives: Educate landowners on proper organic fertilizer management practices by implementing various organic fertilizer management practices on cultivated and pasture fields relating to application method, timing, and rate; Conducting demonstration and educational activities on the importance of proper organic fertilizer management; Demonstrating the difference in water quality for areas impacted and non-impacted by excessive nutrients.