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Arroyo Colorado: Coordinating Watershed Protection Plan Implementation

A grant-supported project to hire and pay a watershed coordinator to facilitate the implementation of the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan.

Background

The Arroyo Colorado flows through Hidalgo, Cameron, and Willacy counties in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and into the Laguna Madre. Agriculture is the primary land use of the region, which in 2015 had one of the fastest growing populations in the nation. As a result of low levels of dissolved oxygen, the tidal segment of the Arroyo Colorado (2201) does not currently support the aquatic life use as required by the state water quality standards and has been on the 303(d) list of impaired water bodies since 1996. Additionally, this segment does not support the contact recreation use in due to elevated bacteria levels. There have also been concerns about high nutrient levels in the Arroyo. In response to these water quality problems, stakeholders formed the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership with assistance from the TCEQ. The Partnership completed a watershed protection plan (WPP) in 2007 for both Segment 2201 and the upstream Segment 2202 of the Arroyo Colorado.

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Project Description

This project provided funding to hire and pay an Arroyo Colorado Watershed Coordinator who was responsible for directing implementation of the Arroyo Colorado WPP. The watershed coordinator:

  • Facilitated the steering committee and work group meetings of the partnership.
  • Facilitated implementation of the WPP through educational and outreach activities, as well as other activities designed to promote private and public support.
  • Identified organizations that have goals similar to the Partnership’s in order to coordinate and integrate their efforts with its goals.

With the support of the watershed coordinator, the Partnerships reached more than 30,000 watershed residents with educational and outreach activities. This project ended in 2011; however, TCEQ awarded the Partnership two more grants from 2014-2020 to support the Watershed Coordinator position.

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For More Information

To find out more about the NPS Program, call 512-239-6682 or e-mail us at nps@tceq.texas.gov.

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