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To support the goals of the Division, the Committee is launching a blog on the website to highlight existing utilities and programs across the state. This blog will provide valuable information on existing programs and highlight how more information on the programs can be obtained, thus creating an online database of water education resources.


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Posted By Karen E. Menard, Thursday, October 4, 2018

Education Division – Consumer Outreach Committee Blog


All Things H2O                                October 2018 Issue








I recently attended the Aquaculture Adventure Workshop in Palacios, Texas. I am going to call it AQUACHELLA. It was a science festival about water, wastewater, and aquaculture; the only thing that was missing from #AQUACHELLA was the music. We experienced the festival life by being completely immersed in the water world including the campgrounds next to Tres Palacios Bay.



Assistant Professor Jeremy L. Conkle - Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Associate Professor John Scarpa - Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Professor Bryan W. Brooks - Baylor University, Outreach Coordinator: Melissa Mullins - Baylor University, Bill Balboa - Texas Sea Grant, Graduate Student: Bekah Burket - Baylor University, Graduate Student: Samreen Siddiqui - Texas A&M Corpus Christi offered the workshop as part of their project: Future Water Quality Challenges to Aquaculture and Influences on Product Safety as supported by the United States Department of Agriculture. Below is their project summary:

Recent growth in aquaculture is fueled by the demand for affordable fish protein, but its sustainability will be determined by water availability and the safety, or perceived safety of its product. As aquaculture grows it will consume more water along with other sectors as they adapt to increasing population and climate change stressors. In some regions aquaculture will be in direct competition for limited water resources, some of which may also be lower quality water, raising concerns about product safety. In the future, decisions will have to be made regarding the viability of aquaculture in some regions and the ability to safely use lower quality water resources. Before these judgments can be made, it is imperative that research examines the future of water supplies for both quantity and quality as it relates to aquaculture. This must include both projections for water resources and the influence of reduced water quality on product safety. This research will use existing data, historic trends and socio-economic and climate scenarios to create projections for aquaculture susceptibility to reductions in water quantity and quality. Next, contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) that are found in surface waters receiving wastewater treatment effluent will be studied to assess mechanisms that influence their bioaccumulation in an effort to update and improve existing uptake models. The projections and improved bioaccumulation models for farmed fish will provide aquaculturists with knowledge to make proactive management decisions, while improving our general understanding of human exposure to pollutants from nontraditional water use.

The workshop and their research exposed informal and formal educators, from all over Texas, to so many topics regarding water quality and usage, wastewater treatment, contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), and aquaculture. Sometimes, we become so focused on a certain topic such as water conservation or wastewater treatment that we forget to make the overall connection of one continuous water cycle. This workshop not only reminded us of water fundamentals but also introduced us a different, commercial side of it, aquaculture.

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, aquaculture is the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of animals and plants in all types of water environments. Or as Dr. Scarpa summarized it for us: FOOD, FUN, AND PHARMACEUTICALS. It is one of the most resource-efficient ways to produce protein and has helped improve nutrition and food security in many parts of the world. Globally, aquaculture supplies more that 50 percent of all seafood produced for human consumption—and that percentage will continue to rise.

 We visited several locations and conducted many activities. One of my favorite activities was visiting an actual aquaculture farm, Turtle Creek Aquaculture, where they grow and harvest red fish. Just a little #ScienceKnowledge about aquaculture, the value of Texas aquaculture is around 60 MILLION DOLLARS! This is the whole group of us visiting the farm with owner Nasir Kureshy (far right).


Aquaculture Adventure Workshop, Palacios, TX visiting Turtle Creek Aquaculture Farm

As a water educator, our goal is to show residents how many of our daily activities directly affect water quality and quantity. This workshop was a clear example of just how much of an impact we have on our environment which in turn comes back to us.

I would like to thank all of those involved for hosting such an amazing and interesting workshop. Thank you for making #AQUACHELLA so fun and inspiring!


If you have any questions about this research project please contact Dr. Jeremy L. Conkle or Dr. John Scarpa from Texas A&M Corpus Christi at: or

ANNNDDD just to tie all together to this continuous water cycle, this is a recent effective flyer from Take Care of Texas just in time for the fall season!


About the Author:

Alondra Hernandez is a Senior Community Liaison with the City of Houston Public Works. She wants to remind everyone not to put grease down the drain!


Tags:  #AQUACHELLA  #ScienceKnowledge  aquaculture 

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