HUGHES SPRINGS — Anyone interested in water quality of Lake O’ the Pines in East Texas is invited to a meeting Oct. 18 to review progress on a plan to improve and protect the lake.
The meeting will be from 10 a.m. to noon at the Northeast Texas Municipal Water District executive offices, 4180 Farm Road 250, Hughes Springs, according to Lucas Gregory, a project manager for the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M Agrilife.
In 2008, watershed stakeholders developed an implementation plan that outlined ways to reduce pollution and increase oxygen levels in the Lake O’ the Pines. The plan was designed to improve the lake habitat and support fishing and other recreational uses, said Lauren Young, a project manager with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The implementation plan was developed after the commission found that dissolved oxygen levels in the lake were often below levels needed to support fish and other aquatic life. The commission conducted a total maximum daily load project to determine measures necessary to restore water quality in the lake, according to Young.
“The goal of a total maximum daily load project is to determine the amount, or load, of a pollutant that a body of water can receive and still support its designated uses,” Young said. “The allowable load is then allocated among categories of sources within the watershed, and stakeholders work with the state to develop measures that reduce pollutant loads.”
At this meeting, the presenters will give a brief review of the problems in the watershed and why it is important to address them, Gregory said. Attendees will review progress on the plan and discuss needed revisions. Gregory will coordinate the input of local stakeholders with work from government and university scientists.
“We will discuss organizing an effective decision-making body for evaluating and updating the implementation plan,” Gregory said. “We need the parties who worked on the original plan to join with people new to the table. We want them to tell us what they think will work best for Lake O’ the Pines and the community.”
To find out more, visit the project’s website at http://bit.ly/QLgCoI, or contact Gregory at 979-845-7869 or firstname.lastname@example.org.