Emerging Success in Implementing the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan


Jan. 25, 2007


Weber, T

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Galveston Bay Estuary Program


The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan (ACWPP) is a comprehensive strategy to improve surface water quality and aquatic and riparian habitat in and around the Arroyo Colorado, a coastal stream that flows through Hidalgo, Cameron, and Willacy counties and into the lower Laguna Madre in the Lower Rio Grande Valley region in South Texas. The ACWPP was developed in response to the TCEQ's determination that the tidal segment of the Arroyo Colorado does not support aquatic life because of occasional occurrences of low dissolved oxygen (DO). Additionally, the TCEQ has identified concerns that plant nutrients (ammonia-nitrogen and nitrate-nitrogen) and an indicator of algal productivity (chlorophyll a) exceed the 85th percentile of levels found in all tidal waters in the state. The impairment and concerns are being addressed by the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership, an organization of local and state level stakeholders who investigated and analyzed topic-specific issues that resulted in recommendations and proposed actions described in the ACWPP. The TCEQ provided funding and technical assistance to the organization, including funding for a watershed coordinator position supervised through Texas Sea Grant. The ACWPP is now completed and has been provided by the partnership to the TCEQ and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for review. The presentation will focus on the identified actions of the ACWPP that will be voluntarily implemented to address improvements in aquatic and riparian habitat, wastewater infrastructure, agricultural best management practices on cropland, and management of urban storm water. The presentation will outline additional efforts relating to education and outreach, and monitoring to measure the success of implementation.




environmental protection, partnership, restoration, watershed