Education & Outreach Projects

Texas Terrapin Education and Research Program (TexasTerp)
Program Manager: Dr. Loretta Battaglia
Collaborator: Robert Duke, Center for Coastal Studies Aquatic Education Director
Project Description: TexasTERP was founded in 2012 with the goal of joining terrapin research in Texas with a strong education/outreach component to make the public more aware of this unique species. Topics are varied and cover many aspects of terrapin biology and life history. Dissemination of information occurs in multiple formats including formal, and informal, presentations to local groups, attendance at local festivals/events, and educational modules geared towards school age children.

Terrapin for Terp project 2

Improving Community Health: MST and QMRA on the Texas Coast 

Sponsor: Environmental Protection Agency
Co-PI: Erin Hill
Project Description: The Center for Coastal Studies at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi and Voices of the Colonias will develop bi-lingual education outreach materials that target underserved communities (i.e., Colonias) in the Baffin Bay Watershed. Education outreach activities will take place at community events (i.e., health fairs, food bank distribution events) to actively engage underserved communities within the watershed to better understand microbial pollutant pathways and measures they can undertake to address these pollutants. These type of community events can reach up to or exceed 250 participants. Engaging stakeholders in twoway conversations will help to assess needs of those communities that have been long overlooked within this watershed. Conversations with the Colonias about how runoff flows through their community - on their local roads, in parks their children play at, in row crop fields with and without plants, in riparian buffer zones, and finally into the receiving waterbody. Communities will be informed on, for example, where bacteria comes from, where does it live and grow in the environment, how does it get into runoff, who and what can be infected by bacteria.
The objectives are to create an education and outreach program that cultivates personal responsibility for water quality and polluting behaviors within the Baffin Bay Watershed. Promote community engagement to protect and improve water quality that will in turn improve public health and revitalize watershed communities. Education outreach material will communicate microbial source tracking and risk assessment data outcomes in a simplistic approach that can be understood by the lay person.

Colonias outreach project Colonias outreach project

Oso Bay / Oso Creek Watershed Model & Outreach & Education 

Sponsor: Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program
Principal Investigator: Erin Hill
Project Description: The Oso Bay/Oso Creek watershed drains an area of approximately 255 square miles and is in the northern-most portion of the Nueces-Rio Grande Coastal Basin.  Oso Bay is an enclosed, shallow body of water situated along the southern shore of Corpus Christi Bay, with a surface area of approximately seven square miles. Oso Bay receives much of the storm water runoff from the City of Corpus Christi as well as the cooling water from the Barney Davis Power Plant.  The housing developments around the bay range from large, multi-acre tracts to neighborhoods with many houses per acre, to apartment complexes.
Stakeholders identified a number of human activities as potential contributors to water quality problems. A lack of natural resource awareness, a depreciated value for clean streams coupled with a deficit in the understanding of human activities that contribute to nonpoint pollution underlie the existing water quality impairments.  Refrigerators, tires, dead animals, and household garbage dumped at public road crossings testify to this awareness problem.  The objective of this project is to develop an educational activity and presentation, bilingual outreach materials, “Call to Action” questionnaire, and use the Oso Bay watershed model in outreach events in the Oso Bay watershed. The proposed project results from recommendations made by stakeholders during the I-Plan development process for this watershed and is included as a measure within the Implementation Plan.

Oso Bay watershed model outreach project 

Oso Bay Watershed Model