The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership steering committee will meet Oct. 22 in Weslaco to continue its efforts to implement the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Protection Plan, according to an official with the Texas Water Resources Institute.

The Texas Water Resources Institute is part of Texas AgriLife Research, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

Jaime Flores, watershed coordinator, said the meeting will start at 4:30 p.m. in the Rio Red classroom at the Texas A&M-Kingsville Citrus Center, 312 N. International Blvd., in Weslaco.

“We’ve had an impressive turnout of citizens interested in this vital community effort, and we welcome any others who would like to be involved,” Flores said.

The partnership is a group of about 700 area citizens and other individuals representing federal, state and private organizations.

Cecilia Wagner, project manager for the water institute in College Station, said she will present options for continuing the partnership’s efforts to implement the watershed protection plan.

“Implementation of the plan is currently supported by a grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” she said.

The steering committee is studying options to secure the partnership's future with local support and funding.

The watershed protection plan, developed by the partnership and one of the first of its kind in the state, is designed to improve water quality and aquatic and riparian habitat, Flores said.

The Arroyo Colorado runs 90 miles from Mission to the Lower Laguna Madre adjacent to the Gulf Coast and is the primary source of fresh water to the Lower Laguna Madre.

The estuary found in the lower 25 miles of the arroyo is an important natural nursery for many fish, crab and shrimp species, Flores said.

For more information on the meeting, contact Flores at 956-968-5581, or e-mail jjflores@ag.tamu.edu.

For information on the partnership and its work, visit its Web site at http://www.arroyocolorado.org.