Galveston Bay Estuary Program. Carla G. Guthrie, Ph.D. Galveston Bay Council Member Texas Water Development Board

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1 Galveston Bay Estuary Program Carla G. Guthrie, Ph.D. Galveston Bay Council Member Texas Water Development Board

2 The statements contained in this presentation are my current views and opinions and are not intended to reflect the positions of, or information from, the Texas Water Development Board, nor is it an indication of any official policy position of the Board....Same is true for the Galveston Bay Estuary Program

3 Galveston Bay Watershed About half of Texans live within the Galveston Bay watershed Watershed is 27,000 sq. miles Lower Galveston Bay watershed includes five counties Galveston Bay is 600 sq. miles in area

4 Galveston Bay is... Environment Fishing & Boating Ports & Shipping Industry Gulf Coast Water Authority

5 Galveston Bay s Challenges Habitat Conservation No. 1 priority identified by stakeholders Water Quality improvements Water Conservation and Freshwater Inflows Recognition of the bay as an important natural resource Public stewardship of the resource

6 A Lower Laguna Madre Estuary Program? Geographical reach? Features of importance? Issues of concern? Goals? Important stakeholders? Program organization? C.P Onuf, Laguna Madre

7 28 National Estuary Programs

8 The Galveston Bay Estuary Program A Program of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Established in 1989 to provide comprehensive ecosystem-based management Mission: To preserve and protect Galveston Bay for generations Non-regulatory, voluntary partnership with citizens; local, state, federal governments; industry, recreational anglers, commercial fisherman, conservation organizations, port and marinas, and academic institutions

9 The Galveston Bay Plan & Strategic Action Plan Galveston Bay Plan Approved in 1995 A 20-year management plan Identifies 82 management strategies to address 17 priority problems Charting the Course: Strategic Action Plan Drafted in 2005/2006 A guide to implementing years Focuses on Ecosystem/Human Health, Public Outreach, Monitoring & Research FY2015 Budget $1,360,613 total $1,076,000 federal and $284,613 state $826,472 for projects

10 Stakeholder Representation via the Galveston Bay Council Council has 41 members Five Subcommittees Water & Sediment Quality 7 Federal Agencies 7 Environmental/ Citizen Groups; 7 Private Sector Natural Resources Use Public Participation & Education Galveston Bay Council Monitoring & Research Budget & Priorities 9 Regional / Local Governments; 2 Research & Academia 9 State Agencies

11 Partnerships Get the Job Done!

12 Estuary Program Priorities Implement The Galveston Bay Plan Foster collaboration Build partnerships Leverage & acquire funds Implement priority projects Outreach Presentations & exhibitions Support partner events Bay Day &Trash Bash Information sharing Status & Trends Monitoring State of the Bay Report State of the Bay Symposium

13 Estuary Program Accomplishments Habitat Conservation Galveston Bay Partnership has restored and protected >25,000 acres of wetlands & coastal habitats since 2000 Leveraged $86 million in contributions West Galveston Bay is a focus for conservation activities

14 West Galveston Bay North Deer Island Shoreline Protection Galveston Island State Park Photo Courtesy of Woody Woodrow, USFWS

15 Estuary Program Accomplishments Water Quality Improvements thru Watershed Protection Initiatives Bastrop Bayou 2. Chocolate Bayou 3. Highland Bayou 4. Dickinson Bayou 5. Bacteria Implementation Group Target Area 6. Cedar Bayou 7. Double Bayou 8. Oyster Waters 9. West Bay

16 Stormwater Wetland Program

17 Estuary Program Awards 1999 Coastal America Award, Clear Creek Habitat Restoration 2000 Recognition Award from NASA for Galveston Bay Estuary restoration and 5-years of implementation 2002 Coastal America Award, Galveston Island State Park Habitat Restoration 2003 Coastal America Award, for Habitat Restoration at Jumbile Cove 2005 Coastal America Award, for San Jacinto State Park 2006 National Wetland Conservation Award for Delehide Cove Protection and Restoration EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Gulf Guardian Partnership Award for Brays Bayou Urban Wetlands Fisheries and Habitat Conservation Partnership Award for cumulative habitat conservation work on the part of the NRU Subcommittee Two EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Gulf Guardian Awards to Estuary Program partners, including an award in the non-profit category to Scenic Galveston for the Virginia Point Coastal Preserve, which GBEP played an instrumental role, and an award in the individual category to Dick Benoit, a highly active local citizen. EPA Gulf of Mexico Program 1 st Place Gulf Guardian Partnership Award for the East Bay Shoreline Protection Department of Interior Collaborative Conservation Award for the East Bay Shoreline Protection EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Gulf Guardian Partnership Award for North Deer Island Coastal America Partnership Award for North Deer Island EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Gulf Guardian Award for North Deer Island Coastal America Partnership Award for Savannah Oaks

18 Back the Bay Campaign Goal: Improve the environmental quality of Galveston Bay by increasing public awareness of the bay s value Campaign Focus: 1. Improving water quality 2. Conserving water 3. Protecting critical fish and wildlife habitats Participants: Local governments, businesses, and industry

19 Galveston Bay Status and Trends December 2011

20 State of the Bay Symposium 10 th State of the Bay Symposium 20 Years of Successfully Preserving Galveston Bay January 13-14, 2016 Moody Gardens Convention Center, Galveston Island Abstracts due June 1 Learn more at

21 For more information about the Galveston Bay Estuary Program Sarah P. Bernhardt, Ph.D. Program Manager (281)

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