Rueben Stringer
Special to the Record

The Lower Sabine Neches Soil Conservation Service Annual Environmental Workshop was held recently. Several places were visited by students and teachers from Southeast Texas. The Waterborne Education Center, whose home port is the Anahuac harbor, provided an insight on the appreciation and stewardship of coastal resources, heritage and culture by providing hands-on water borne education services. A plankton tow, trawling and seining allowed participants to study marine and plant life. Cordgrass planting, water quality testing, map reading and developing cast and dip net skills were part of a very entertaining day. While traveling, alligators and a large species of birds were observed. The WEC offered binoculars, hip waders and many types of nets for use during the trip. Exciting Texas historical events are also highlighted, including stories about the first shots fired in the Texas Revolution at Fort Anahuac in 1832.

The field labs are conducted aboard two 45 foot coast guard certified vessels and hands on learning opportunities are encouraged.

This program sponsored by the Lower Sabine Neches SWD, Texas agri-life and several southeast Texas FFA chapter is a two day event. Other visits were made to Sabine Ranch, District drainage #6 and the Texas A&M research center in China. At the ranch, a brush control program was observed, a demonstration in handling beef cattle was viewed and the lingering effects of Rita and Ike were checked out.

At the drainage district, demonstrations with heavy equipment were given and the district explained how soil and water conservation were an important part of their program.

The Texas A&M research station provided the group with a rice cooking demonstration, studied some current issues on pests, pesticides and herbicides and looked at some alternative fuel research plots.

Dr. M. O. Way and his staff were hosts at the rice station.

This workshop has been held annually since 1986. It is a unique event in that each teacher that attends can bring some students to engage in learning activities, but the teacher also picks up valuable in-service hours that can influence  their classroom activities.

As the two day event unfolds, all presenters are encouraged to pass on the benefits of the job they perform, its rewards, the training it requires and the salaries that might be expected.