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Texas Stream Team: Citizen Science Water Quality Monitoring and TMDLs Travis Tidwell The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment – Texas State University.

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Presentation on theme: "Texas Stream Team: Citizen Science Water Quality Monitoring and TMDLs Travis Tidwell The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment – Texas State University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Texas Stream Team: Citizen Science Water Quality Monitoring and TMDLs Travis Tidwell The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment – Texas State University July 29, 2014 Prepared in cooperation with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and U.S. EPA. The preparation of this presentation was financed through grants from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Contact us: Texas Stream Team Riverside Apts, Unit C4 601 University Drive San Marcos, TX Phone: Toll free:

2  Mission  A joint partnership with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, U.S. EPA Region VI, Texas State University-San Marcos, and numerous partners.  To facilitate environmental stewardship by empowering a statewide network of concerned volunteers, partners, and institutions in a collaborative effort to promote a healthy and safe environment though environmental education, data collection, and community action. 2 ABOUT US

3 3 TEXAS STREAM TEAM STRUCTURE Partner Water Quality Education

4  Activities Include:  Citizen Water Quality Monitoring  Education and Outreach  Teacher Workshops  Goals Include:  Water Quality Education  Non-point Source Pollution Reduction  Watershed Awareness 4 TEXAS STREAM TEAM

5  City Governments 5 PARTNERS

6  Clean Rivers Program Partners 6 PARTNERS

7  Non-Profits 7 PARTNERS

8  Universities 8 PARTNERS

9  Supply kits, reagents, and other equipment to certified monitors  Provide trainings  Create Monitoring Plans for citizen scientists  Conduct Quality Assurance of the data and submit data to the Meadows Center  Incorporate TST data into water quality projects  Use TST data to supplement professional water quality monitoring  Time spent training, monitoring, submitting data, and money used to purchase equipment counts as match for federal funding. 9 WHAT DO PARTNERS DO?

10 TEXAS STREAM TEAM  Texas Stream Team offers two types of water quality training  Our Core Water Quality Training  Our Advanced NPS Suite Training

11 TEXAS STREAM TEAM Core Water Quality Training  Consists of 3 Phases  Phase I: Demonstration by the instructor  Phase II: Trainees take measurements with the guidance of an instructor  Phase III: Trainees take measurements with no guidance from instructor and compare results with those of the instructor  After becoming certified, we ask our monitors to monitor their assigned site monthly

12 TEXAS STREAM TEAM Core Water Quality Training:  Types of water quality parameters measured:  Temperature  Conductivity  Dissolved Oxygen  pH  Water Clarity  These are not measurements of pollution  Pollution can affect these parameters

13 TEXAS STREAM TEAM Advanced Training  Certified Water Quality Monitors can then take our Advanced NPS Suite training  Monitors learn to measure:  E. coli  Nitrogen  Phosphorus  Turbidity

14 TEXAS STREAM TEAM  After monitors collect data, they send us the datasheet or upload the data online  The data is reviewed for quality assurance  It is then posted on our dataviewer for the public to see

15 15 DATAVIEWER

16 16 DATAVIEWER

17 17 DATAVIEWER

18 18 DATAVIEWER

19 19 DATA REPORTS

20 Program Data:  7,692 trained citizen scientists since 1991  45,000 volunteer hours  429 actively monitored sites  82,973 miles of Texas waterways monitored  35,146 monitoring events 20 TEXAS STREAM TEAM

21  A water body that does not meet the standards of water quality for its use is called impaired  It goes on the 303(d) list (a.k.a. the naughty list)  A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet the water quality standards  One TMDL per pollutant per water body segment 21 TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOAD

22  Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is responsible for adopting all TMDLs  An Implementation Plan (I-Plan) can be developed along with a TMDL  I-Plans lay out:  What needs to be done over the next one to five years to reduce the pollution load in the water body  Who is responsible for making sure the tasks are done  When the task will be complete  How improvement will be measured  TCEQ collaborates with stakeholders during the development of an I-Plan 22 TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS

23  A Watershed Protection Plan is a locally driven stakeholder process  Holistic in approach  Watershed instead of segment  Addresses multiple factors leading to non-point source pollution, not just one constituent  Sponsored by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board 23 WATERSHED PROTECTION PLAN

24  Identification of causes and sources  Estimate of needed load reductions  Description of management measures  Estimate of technical and financial assistance  Information/education component  Schedule for implementation  Description of interim, measureable milestones  Criteria to determine if load reductions are achieved  Monitoring component to evaluate effectiveness 24 THE NINE ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL WPP

25  Identification of causes and sources of pollution  Estimate of needed load reductions  Description of management measures  Estimate of technical and financial assistance  Information/education component  Schedule for implementation  Description of interim, measureable milestones  Criteria to determine if load reductions are achieved  Monitoring component to evaluate effectiveness 25 THE NINE ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL WPP Similar elements are essential to developing a successful I-Plan as well

26  Identification of causes and sources of pollution  Characterization Study  A good time to recruit stakeholders into Citizen Monitoring Programs  Citizen scientists can supplement professional monitoring plans  Spatially – Some water bodies have only one monitoring site  Temporally – Some sites are only monitored quarterly  Texas Stream Team monitors can fill in those gaps  The same is true for monitoring the effectiveness of the plan during implementation 26 CITIZEN SCIENTISTS MONITORING

27  We have a QAPP!  Quality Assurance Project Plan  Approved by TCEQ  Details how the data will be collected, maintained, analyzed  Required for the collection of data in WPPs and TMDLs  Use Texas Stream Team, don’t reinvent the wheel 27 CITIZEN SCIENTISTS MONITORING

28  Information/education component  Texas Stream Team Staff can:  Attend educational events in your watershed  Train volunteers in your watershed to conduct educational demonstrations  Provide equipment and educational materials for outreach events  Citizen monitoring itself is an educational component 28 EDUCATION AND OUTREACH

29  Other services we can offer:  Creating or assisting in monitoring plans  Watershed surveys  Intensive bacteria surveys  River/Park Cleanups  Plant riparian vegetation or rain gardens  Watershed tours  These services have the same education/outreach goal, but require less commitment from volunteers than monthly monitoring 29 WATERSHED SERVICES

30 Citizen Monitoring + Education and Outreach = 30 TEXAS STREAM TEAM Stakeholder Engagement

31  Runs through College Station and Bryan  Impaired for bacteria  One site that is professionally monitored  I-Plan Coordinating Committee wants more monitoring on the creek  Texas Water Resource Institute does some monitoring  TWRI has also created a Stream Team to gather more data and get people involved  TWRI will support the Stream Team for 2 years after which the Cities of Bryan and College Station will take over 31 CARTERS CREEK I-PLAN Carters Creek

32 32 SAN MARCOS WATERSHED INITIATIVE

33  A developing Watershed Protection Plan for the Upper San Marcos River  Not impaired, but stakeholders concerned about future water quality  Watershed Characterization recently created  19 years of Texas Stream Team Data used to help establish baseline water quality conditions 33 SAN MARCOS WATERSHED INITIATIVE

34 34 SAN MARCOS WATERSHED INITIATIVE

35 35 TMDLS AND WPPS IN TEXAS Aquilla Reservoir TMDL Armand Bayou WPP Arroyo Colorado WPP Atascosa River TMDL Attoyac Bayou WPP Austin Area Watersheds TMDL Barton Springs and Onion Creek Bastrop Bayou WPP Brady Creek WPP Buck Creek WPP Buffalo and Whiteoak Bayous TMDL Caddo Lake WPP Carters Creek TMDL Cedar Bayou WPP Cedar Creek Reservoir Clear Creek TMDL Colorado River TMDL Concho River WPP Copano Bay, Aransas and Mission Rivers TMDL Cypress Creek WPP Dickinson Bayou WPP Double Bayou WPP Eagle Mountain Reservoir Elm and Sandies Creeks TMDL Geronimo Creek WPP Gilleland Creek TMDL Hickory Creek WPP Lake Arlington Master Plan Lake Austin TMDL Lake Grandbury WPP Lake Granger WPP Lake Houston TMDL Lake Worth TMDL Lampasas River WPP Leon River WPP Lower and Middle Brazos River Lower Nueces River WPP Lower Sabinal River TMDL Lower San Antonio River TMDL Moses Highland Karankawa Bayous WPP North Bosque TMDL Nueces Bay TMDL Orange County Watersheds TMDL Oso Bay/Oso Creek TMDL Paso del Norte Peach Creek TMDL Pecos River WPP Plum Creek WPP Salado Creek TMDL San Bernard WPP San Felipe Creek Master Plan South and North Llano WPP Trinity River TMDL Upper Cibolo WPP Upper Guadalupe River TMDL Upper Oyster Creek TMDL Upper San Antonio Upper San Marcos WPP

36 36 TMDLS AND WPPS IN TEXAS Aquilla Reservoir TMDL Armand Bayou WPP Arroyo Colorado WPP Atascosa River TMDL Attoyac Bayou WPP Austin Area Watersheds TMDL Barton Springs and Onion Creek Bastrop Bayou WPP Brady Creek WPP Buck Creek WPP Buffalo and Whiteoak Bayous TMDL Caddo Lake WPP Carters Creek TMDL Cedar Bayou WPP Cedar Creek Reservoir Clear Creek TMDL Colorado River TMDL Concho River WPP Copano Bay, Aransas and Mission Rivers TMDL Cypress Creek WPP Dickinson Bayou WPP Double Bayou WPP Eagle Mountain Reservoir Elm and Sandies Creeks TMDL Geronimo Creek WPP Gilleland Creek TMDL Hickory Creek WPP Lake Arlington Master Plan Lake Austin TMDL Lake Grandbury WPP Lake Granger WPP Lake Houston TMDL Lake Worth TMDL Lampasas River WPP Leon River WPP Lower and Middle Brazos River Lower Nueces River WPP Lower Sabinal River TMDL Lower San Antonio River TMDL Moses Highland Karankawa Bayous WPP North Bosque TMDL Nueces Bay TMDL Orange County Watersheds TMDL Oso Bay/Oso Creek TMDL Paso del Norte Peach Creek TMDL Pecos River WPP Plum Creek WPP Salado Creek TMDL San Bernard WPP San Felipe Creek Master Plan South and North Llano WPP Trinity River TMDL Upper Cibolo WPP Upper Guadalupe River TMDL Upper Oyster Creek TMDL Upper San Antonio Upper San Marcos WPP


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