Get Outside - Enjoy Clean Texas Rivers - Feb 2014

February 2014

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Clean Texas Rivers

Guadalupe River SP - TPWD

Texas’ rivers and reservoirs are treasures.  Whether you enjoy swimming in the cool waters of the Frio, kayaking the Guadalupe, or fly fishing in the Nueces, our rivers are unique, rich with wildlife, and critical for supplying water to our communities.   

Texas Clean Rivers Program is a state fee-funded, non-regulatory program that was created to provide a framework and forum for managing water quality issues in a more holistic manner. The focus of the program is to work at the watershed level, within each river basin, by coordinating the efforts of diverse organizations.

The CRP works to protect Texas surface waters and related natural resources and is administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in partnership with regional water authorities. The goal is to help ensure clean, safe water for the future of Texas.

Monitoring activities occur at approximately 1,800 locations throughout Texas — streams, creeks, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries. To help keep Texas waters clean, trained professionals monitor water and environmental conditions.  This monitoring provides information about things like the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water for the fish and the concentration of nutrients influencing aquatic plants. Monitoring staff collect data statewide in both urban and rural settings and these efforts result in up to 235,000 water quality measurements each year.  The resulting data helps create a comprehensive picture of the condition of water bodies in all 23 basins that make up the major river systems of Texas. 

By coordinating efforts, resources are used more efficiently. Streamlining monitoring activities eliminates duplication and significantly increases the amount of data available to the agency for decision making.  This compliments the data collection efforts of the TCEQ regional offices who also participate in the unified efforts.

Celebrate the value, importance, and great beauty of Texas waters to benefit present and future generations. Contribute your input on water quality issues in your watershed.  Contact the appropriate CRP Partner Agency for your river basin.

Link Highlights  

Keep Our Water Clean


Visit the new Water Quality tab at Take Care of Texas to learn about Texas water quality successes and ways you can do your part to keep our water clean.

Fish Art Contest


The State-Fish Art Contest is part of a conservation education program designed to spark the imaginations of students while providing valuable lessons about fish and the importance of conserving Texas' aquatic resources. This is a nationwide art contest sponsored by Wildlife Forever, a national conservation organization.

The Texas State-Fish Art Contest, hosted by the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, reminds Texas teachers and students that the deadline for this year’s entries is March 31, 2014. Download the contest rules, regulations, and entry form.

Pledge to Take Care of Texas

Check out the new feature on the Take Care of Texas website. Pledge to Take Care of Texas and download your own personalized Certificate of Texas Pride.  We’ll also send you a free Texas State Park Guide!

Keep Texas Beaches Clean


Show your dedication by volunteering to remove trash from Texas beaches. Sign up today for upcoming winter and spring cleanups.

Save the Date!


Registration is open for TCEQ’s Environmental Trade Fair & Conference to be held on May 6-7, 2014. Please visit the Trade Fair Web page for more information.


Follow us on Twitter!


Like us and share your favorite post at Take Care of Texas!

Keep Texas Lakes and Rivers Clean

1)     Use fewer and less-harmful pesticides and fertilizers to avoid chemical runoff to our waterways.

2)     Use less-toxic cleaning products to reduce pollutants in both the air and water.  Carefully store and dispose of household cleaners, chemicals, and oils.

3)     Collect your food scraps, oil, and grease to avoid clogging sewer lines, which can cause overflows that pollute nearby creeks and streams.

4)     Whenever you change your oil or other vehicle fluids at home, recycle it. NEVER pour used motor oil down storm drains which will carry the oil directly to Texas waterways.

5)     Get involved and share your knowledge with others. Take action with more tips to keep Texas water clean.



The new year motivates a number of resolutions for self-improvement, among them to get more exercise and eat right. If you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, or mentor to kids, you can lead by example and encourage children to commit to a healthy dose of the outdoors. Whether it’s helping in the garden, investigating bugs in the backyard, or watching squirrels at a local park, outdoor activities help kids appreciate both the fun of getting physical and the value of the world around them. Spending time outside also raises our awareness that we’re all connected to nature. We hope that leads to finding ways to keep our air and water clean, and our land sustainably managed.

  • Hike. Trails are the pride and joy of our state parks. Find a short nature trail for a quick stroll or an adventurous, all-day endeavor at Texas State Parks. Several are designated “off-leash,” allowing your dog to hike with you without a leash.
  • Bike. Travel on two wheels offers clean air, a close-up of scenic destinations, and leisurely speed limits. 
  • Walk. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or expensive. If you’d like some recognition for walking, register to Walk Across Texas. The free eight-week program is designed to help Texans establish the habit of regular physical activity.
  • Fish.  Play a vital role in maintaining clean water for fish habitats. When you purchase a fishing license or fishing equipment, you support fishery management, hatcheries, conservation and education.  Find fishing fun at Texas State Parks.
  • Hunt. Enyoy a Texas treasure hunt! Texas State Parks and Natural Areas have embraced geocaching because of the fun and healthy benefits the sport creates for its players. This treasure hunt takes its players to an exciting, creative, or beautiful hiding place in the outdoors.
  • Nutrition. Boost health by eating a variety of fresh, locally grown food. Farmer’s markets and community-supported agriculture co-ops are a great and cost-effective way to buy what’s in season. Locally produced food doesn’t require as much fuel to transport and it tastes better, too! Learn more about nutrition and the programs that are making it an easier choice at Texas Department of Health Services.

For more resources, see the Texas State Park’s Get Outside in Texas program, Texas Comptroller’s Reshaping Texas (obesity prevention program), and Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services site, Texercise.

Publication Highlight

Mirror Cling

Water Conservation Mirror Clings (M-38) Vinyl static cling (4" square) with a water conservation message. Neatly apply to bathroom mirrors at your office, home, and school!

View our full catalog of free publications to order and for more information.