SAN MARCOS – Texas Stream Team, as part of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, has been honored with a Texas Environmental Excellence Award in the civic/community category for bringing together numerous partners and thousands of citizen scientists to monitor and protect water quality across Texas.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) oversees the awards program.
Texas Stream Team is a community-driven citizen scientist program that is dedicated to understanding and protecting 191,000 miles of Texas waterways. The program has been in operation for 28 years and is one of the longest-running and most successful citizen science programs in the nation. Texas Stream Team has trained nearly 10,600 citizen scientists and works with over 70 partners across Texas.
“Texas Stream Team facilitates citizen scientists and partners throughout the state of Texas,” said Nicole Hall, program manager for the Nonpoint Source Program at TCEQ. “Those citizen scientists do water quality monitoring as well as macroinvertebrate bioassessments and riparian evaluations throughout the state.”
The program also has a mission to educate the public about watershed functions and water quality in local creeks and watersheds. Each year, Texas Stream Team reaches nearly 2,400 children in educational events and outreach.
“Within the education part of Texas Stream Team, it’s incredibly moving to see the kids get excited about water quality monitoring and see their faces light up when we show them macroinvertebrates or have them test for pH in water,” said Jenna Walker, Texas Stream Team senior program coordinator. “It gives me incredible hope for the future of our rivers and for the river keepers of our wonderful state.”
Since 1993, the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards have honored achievements in environmental preservation and protection. Committee members review and score applications from 10 award categories. In the civic/community category, the committee looked for projects and programs that incorporated a mix of diverse community partners and participants joining together to make improvements to the environment.
“I’m really proud that the Texas Stream Team continues to grow and that we have been recognized for our value and significance within the scientific and environmental community,” said Walker. “I thank our dedicated citizen scientists, partners, supporters and staff for their time and efforts in preserving our local waterways.”
Texas Stream Team is administered through a cooperative partnership between The Meadows Center, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency.
To view Texas Stream Team’s award video, visit https://youtu.be/wxAjDUuBX7I. To learn more about Texas Stream Team and how to get involved, visit www.JoinStreamTeam.org or email TxStreamTeam@txstate.edu.
The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University was named following a generous gift from The Meadows Foundation in August 2012. The Meadows Center inspires research, innovation and leadership that ensures clean, abundant water for the environment and all humanity.