19th Annual Lower Rio Grande Valley Water Quality Management and Planning Conference

Tuesday, May 23 – Saturday, May 27
Isla Grande Resort, South Padre Island

Stormwater Conference 2017 at the Isla Grande Hotel on South Padre Island.

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – MAY 27, 2017 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley hosted the conference, along with the Lower Rio Grande Valley Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) Storm Water Task Force.

The conference focus is on research topics germane to South Texas and the U.S.-Mexico border region, with a goal to develop team-based and research inspired programs to train and educate future engineers.

Representatives from academia, private industry, environmental groups, research communities and state and federal agencies are participating as a team, exchanging ideas concerning environmental issues impacting coastal and semi-arid regions and the Rio Grande Valley. Information is being disseminated to decision makers and stakeholders who influence the economic, social and physical infrastructure along the border region.

The multi-faceted five-day conference includes panel discussions, informational presentations, workshops, discussions and student competitions. Among the speakers are faculty from the UTRGV Department of Civil Engineering and Texas A&M University – Kingsville; Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board Regional Watershed from Wharton; Coastal Bend Bay and Estuary Program from Corpus Christi, along with keynote speakers Toby Baker, commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; and Sid Miller, Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Integral to the conference is the high school program with school districts including Brownsville ISD, Edcouch-Elsa ISD, Mission CISD, Pharr-San Juan ISD, and South Texas ISD (Science Academy).

The conference provides a special workshop, free to all first responders, on May 25, featuring speakers and open discussion with experts in disaster management.

Founded in 1998 by Andrew Ernest, Ph.D., professor and chair of the UTRGV Civil Engineering Department, and Javier Guerrero, E.I.T., director of Water Studies of the UTRGV Civil Engineering Department, the LRGV TPDES Stormwater Task Force is supported by these municipality members:

Alamo, Alton, Brownsville, Cameron County, Cameron Drainage District No. 1, Donna, Edinburg, La Feria, La Joya, Mission, Los Fresnos, Palmview, Primera, San Juan San Benito, Santa Cruz Irrigation #15, Weslaco and Mercedes.

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UTRGV Photos by David Pike