Workshops focus on conservation

By Heather Menzies
Bay City Tribune; April 9, 2008

The Matagorda County AgriLife Extension Service will offer, at no cost to the public, four sessions of Earth Kind workshops over two days on from 10 a.m. – noon and 6 -8 p.m. at the Bay City Service Center on Wednesday and Thursday April 23-24 in conjunction with the county’s Earth Week 2008 activities.

According to John O’Connell, coastal and marine resources extension agent, four individual topics will be presented including: lawn and gardens; home recycling; composting and water conservation.

“We have broad topics for the sessions but we will cover several different aspects of each topic,” said O’Connell.

O’Connell and Brent Batchelor, agriculture and natural resources extension agent, will be the presenters.

Earth Kind practices are researched-based strategies homeowners can use to reduce the amount of pesticides and fertilizers entering our waters, said O’Connell.

“Recently, I read that a researcher at Texas A&M University has confirmed the existence of a reoccurring “dead zone” off the Texas coast,” O’Connell said.

The term “dead zone” refers to an area, where oxygen levels near the bottom are too low to support life, O’Connell explained.

“Until now, only one reoccurring dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico had been identified,” said O’Connell.

“It is located off Central Louisiana and associated with nutrients from the Mississippi River drainage.”

“According to the article, Texas’ dead zone has been reoccurring annually for at least 23 years,” said O’Connell.

O’Connell explained that attending the Earth Kind workshops will provide useful tips county residents can employ to help stop this ‘dead zone’ occurrence.

While there is no charge for attending the workshop, the Matagorda County AgriLife Extension Service requests that you RSVP at (979) 245-4100.