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Earth Day 2000: “A Day in the Life of Texas Waters”

Date of release: 03/16/00

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Thousands of volunteers from across Texas will participate in a statewide water sampling initiative to be held in conjunction with Earth Day 2000 on April 18.

Texas Watch, a volunteer environmental monitoring program based in the Department of Geography at Southwest Texas State University, is launching the effort. Organizers plan to make the project an annual event.

Volunteer monitors across the state will sample surface and ground water to collect important environmental information. Those results will be coupled with professional water quality sampling efforts to realistically portray “A Day in the Life of Texas Waters.”

More than 2,000 volunteer monitors are expected to participate, and approximately 300 sites will be surveyed in the sampling. The event will also incorporate live, real time documentation of monitoring results that may be viewed online through the course of the day at the Texas Watch web site, http://www.texaswatch.geo.txstate.edu.

Texas Watch, headquartered at SWT, facilitates a statewide coalition of volunteer monitors who work in conjunction with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Jason Pinchback, who is in charge of volunteer coordination for Texas Watch, said, “The volunteers involved in this project are taking the responsibility to preserve a sustainable and viable future for our planet. This is an important effort, and we hope to gather some very significant data in the process.”

The mission of Texas Watch is to facilitate environmental stewardship by empowering a statewide network of concerned volunteers, partners and institutions in a collaborative effort to promote a healthy and safe environment through environmental education, data collection and community action.

Earth Day, a global holiday to honor the Earth and increase awareness of the need for its preservation, was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. In this millennial year, the statewide sampling event and other Earth Day 2000 activities celebrate 30 years of environmental stewardship promoting a clean future for the planet.