Jarbo Bayou: A Community Project to Protect Recreational Uses
Coastal Basins: Bays and Estuaries
Background and Goals
Jarbo Bayou, located in Galveston Bayou, is a tributary of Clear Lake. Since 2002, high concentrations of bacteria, which are found in both human and animal waste, have been observed in the bayou. The presence of these bacteria may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the bayou—activities referred to as “contact recreation” in the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards.
The goal of this project is to improve water quality to protect people who swim in the bayou. Toward that goal, the TCEQ and stakeholders are developing a TMDL and an I-Plan to reduce bacteria in Jarbo Bayou. A TMDL is like a budget—it determines the amount (or load) of bacteria that the bayou can receive and still support recreational safety. Its implementation plan outlines the things stakeholders will do to reduce pollutant loads and what parties will be responsible for those activities.
Staff from the Houston–Galveston Area Council have been working with stakeholder communities, interest groups, and local organizations to distribute information about this project. The H-GAC has also been supporting stakeholders in developing a plan for watershed improvement through multiple public meetings, forming a Coordination Committee to guide the decision-making process, and work group meetings to drive the technical aspects of the project.
After careful deliberation, the Committee decided to petition to join the Bacteria Implementation Group (a well-established project in the nearby area) and is now taking steps toward that goal.
All public meetings about this project are open to anyone interested. Meetings are announced on the H-GAC project Web page.
Technical Support Document, May 2014
Stakeholder Meeting, December 12, 2013
For More Information
Please send an e-mail to email@example.com, and mention the Jarbo Bayou bacteria project in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.