Good stewardship encouraged in protecting Lanana Creek in Nacogdoches County

Good stewardship encouraged in protecting Lanana Creek in Nacogdoches County
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 7:59 PM CST

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - For over twenty years the Lanana Bayou Watershed, which takes in the city of Nacogdoches, has been designated as being impaired for bacteria.

Researchers are gathering data on how best to protect the 32-mile stream.

The science is important, but so is public involvement.

Lanana Creek is one of two creeks flowing thru Nacogdoches. Trails along its banks are popular spots for residents and visitors alike. The Texas Water Resources Institute, a unit of Texas A&M AgriLife strives to keep it safe for all users.

The institute, SFA and Angelina Neches River Authority already know the watershed is in trouble.

“Currently the creek has bacteria levels above where the state wants them to be and they need to be reduced to meet the state’s water quality standards,” said Dr. Lucas Gregory, TWRI associate director.

Scientists have calculated pollutant loads, primarily e-coli.

Inside the city, data shows the wastewater treatment facility, setting on the banks of Lanana Creek, is doing its job.

“If you look at water quality data in the creek, water quality is actually better downstream of the waste water treatment plant than upstream,” said Gregory.

In rural areas e-coli pollutants come from livestock and wildlife.

“It’s everything with fur, hair and feathers,” a well-used line by Gregory when emphasizing the value of good stewardship.

“Be diligent about picking up after your dog. Land along a creek--don’t mow right up to the edge of it. All of that vegetation slows that water down, traps a lot of the sediment, keeps pollutants attached to that sediment in the watershed, rather than flowing on down the creek,” suggests Gregory.

Stakeholders are encouraged to follow each draft of the plan. Their participation is the biggest part of keeping the Lanana Creek around for generations to come.

The draft is updated frequently. You can read about the Lanana study at https://twri.tamu.edu/our-work/restoring-protecting/neches-river-basin/la-nana-bayou-watershed/

Copyright 2022 KTRE. All rights reserved.