Agencies to train anglers to identify, report pollution
July 21, 2016 at 10:21 p.m.
Updated July 22, 2016 at 6 a.m.
Fishermen and women are often the first to note chemical spills in the bay and strange behavior from wildlife associated with pollution, said local environmental activist Diane Wilson.
For this reason, Wilson has joined with Texas Injured Workers, the Union of Commercial Oystermen of Texas and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid to host a free information session geared toward those who work on the water on how to identify and report pollution.
"It will help marine life and empower fishermen to do what they naturally do, but it will give them a legitimate avenue to do it and get something done," Wilson said.
Experts from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the General Land Office, the Calhoun County Marine Extension Agency and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid will explain common indicators of pollution as well as how to document and report incidents. The agencies also will explain what their roles are in the protection of coastal waters and when to call what agency.
Spanish-speakers will be available to translate the information, Wilson said.
Though the presentation will be directed toward people who harvest fish, oysters and shrimp, all are welcome to attend.
"For these agencies to get fishermen together and show them what they can look for ... I think this will be a first," Wilson said. "It's going to be a real opportunity for all of us."