Texas Stream Team is a network of trained volunteers and supportive partners working to gather information about our natural resources. Volunteers are trained to collect quality-assured information that can be used to make environmentally sound decisions. Established in 1991, TST is funded by TCEQ, US EPA, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and various other agencies donating funds and equipment, as well as time and other resources. There are thousands of volunteers around the state that collect water and check water quality data on lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, bays, bayous and estuaries across the state in public locations.
TST supports a wide range of monitoring activities, including a rigorous certified water quality monitoring program (core parameters, advanced and probe kit), environmental ed programs, community action projects including storm drain stenciling, underwater data collection, coliform training and data collection, phosphate and nitrate trainings, sponsoring state and regional conferences and workshops with intensive training.
Effective collection and management of water quality data provides volunteers the opportunity to recognize changes occurring monthly and for checking on water quality trends at their site(s). Data is put online for TCEQ, EPA and the public to observe. TST promotes use of data at local level, by partners, volunteers, schools, government agencies, business, industry and others so that educational and natural resource management decisions can be made.
These goals are founded on the premise that water issues are inextricably linked with biological, land and human issues and that the protection of all natural resources requires the active, positive cooperation of all Texans.
Anyone with a desire to monitor water quality or learn more about the natural resources in Texas can be involved. Volunteers monitor a wide variety of habitats from public rivers, creeks, ponds, and lakes to bays, bayous and estuaries. After training for about 6 hours for the core tests, with 3 phases of training, the volunteer is asked to select a site and monitor monthly using the kits and other tools provided. Some volunteers pick their own site and monitor alone. Most monitor for safety with at least 2 people involved. Volunteers can “adopt” as many sites as they want. Many groups are science teachers and their students. There is also a large number of Texas Master Naturalists. Many are senior citizens wanting to do their part for their state. Citizen Scientists are welcome to train and monitor a public waterway near them.
Texas State University located in San Marcos is the main campus where data is submitted and coordination of activities occurs. The mailing address is The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas Stream Team, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX. 78666-4616.
The Sulphur River Basin is in the northeast corner of Texas. The basin includes all or part of Fannin, Hunt, Lamar, Hopkins, Red River, Franklin, Titus, Morris, Bowie, Cass and Delta counties.