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Texas Stream Team Names Dani Apodaca the 2021 Golden Secchi Award Winner

Texas Stream Team Names Dani Apodaca the 2021 Golden Secchi Award Winner

Dani Apodaca
Dani Apodaca

Texas Stream Team has selected Dani Apodaca as the recipient of the 2021 Golden Secchi Award Winner for his significant, long-lasting contributions to our program over the past 30 years. For many years Dani has been running a one-man show to help us coordinate citizen science efforts for the entire Lower Colorado River Basin (basin), which spans 600-miles from the Hill Country to the Gulf of Mexico.

His dedication to Texas Stream Team becomes clear when looking at the scope and breadth of the work he has accomplished for our program. Citizen scientists within his group not only collect water quality data at approximately 100 sites across the basin but Dani also hosts Texas Stream Team trainings and helps our team mobilize newly trained citizen scientists to start actively monitoring.

"Dani is doing amazing work to grow our program and inspire a love of nature and our natural resources among communities living along the Lower Colorado River Basin," Aspen Navarro, Meadows Center watershed services program coordinator said. "We are grateful to Dani for his outstanding dedication and commitment to protecting the 191,000 miles of Texas waterways. "

Dani’s contributions to expanding citizen science water quality monitoring within the basin goes beyond his work with Texas Stream Team. He also serves as the Water Quality Coordinator for the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and is responsible for leading the Colorado River Watch Network (CRWN), a volunteer water quality monitoring program created by LCRA in 1992. The CRWN program integrated into our statewide Texas Stream Team program in the early 1990s to unify and consolidate citizen science activities happening across the state.

“It would be very difficult for Texas Stream Team to fulfill our mission without organizations like LCRA, and especially without individuals like Dani. Our partnership over the decades have shown how much river authorities and citizen scientists can accomplish when it comes to water quality monitoring, especially in a state as large as Texas,” Navarro said.

Through his work with LCRA and Texas Stream Team, Dani has fostered and strengthened a valuable partnership between both organizations. While the CRWN program manages their own database and Quality Assurance Project Plan– Dani submits data to our team regularly to ensure that CRWN’s data is incorporated into the statewide Waterways Dataviewer to provide Texans with an accessible, one-stop shop for all things citizen science water quality monitoring in Texas.

Dani is an amazing example of stewardship of our natural resources and well-deserving of this award. Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty, Dani! You have made a lasting difference to Texas Stream Team.

By the Numbers:

  • Certified, active Texas Stream Team Citizen Scientist since 1991

  • Leads the Colorado River Watch Network Monitoring Group, which includes 90 active citizen scientists (monitors are considered active if they have monitored within the past 12 months) that collect data from over 100 monitoring sites along the Lower Colorado River Basin (monitoring sites are considered active if monitored within the past 12 months)

About the Golden Secchi Award

In October of 2018, Texas Stream Team celebrated training its 10,000th citizen scientist through a Texas Stream Team festival with partners, citizen scientists, and friends. During this event, Texas Steam Team staff decided to create a yearly award to commemorate our most dedicated citizen scientists called the Golden Secchi Award, also known as the Citizen Scientist of the Year Award. This award remains at Texas Stream Team Headquarters so that it may be etched each year with the recipient’s name.