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Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Education Project

A project to deliver "Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters" citizen training programs in the watersheds of Cypress Creek, Upper Cibolo Creek, Plum Creek, Geronimo Creek, Upper San Antonio River, and Lavaca River.

Background

Pet waste, improperly applied fertilizers and other pollutants from residential lawns easily enter the watershed via stormwater runoff, causing nonpoint source pollution. Additionally, urban development such as concrete and asphalt increase the volume of stormwater and its associated pollutants. Many Texas communities are experiencing rapid population growth, and consequently more residential lawns and impervious cover, which can increase nonpoint source pollution.

Watershed-based plans (WBPs) are designed to promote and guide activities that improve and protect water quality. There are currently thirty-one U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accepted WPBs in Texas. Many WBPs emphasize the need for outreach and education programs to inform the public on how to reduce pollutant inputs and runoff volume related to urbanization and residential lawns.

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Project Description

Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) delivers Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters education programs to six watersheds with watershed-based plans in Texas; Cypress Creek, Upper Cibolo Creek, Plum Creek, Geronimo Creek, Upper San Antonio River, and Lavaca River. The goal of the education program is to protect water quality by providing information on ecologically appropriate quantities and timing of fertilizer application to residential lawns. Participants also learn about rainwater harvesting techniques, appropriate lawn and landscaping management practices, and will receive a free soil test analysis through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Soil, Water, and Forage Testing Laboratory.

Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters materials and presentations are tailored to local watershed hydrology and WBP efforts. The program has been held in the watersheds listed above. These water bodies do not meet state water quality standards for or have concerns for combinations of bacteria and nutrients.

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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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