Oso Creek: A Community Project to Protect Recreational Uses
Coastal Basins:Bays and Estuaries, Nueces–Rio Grande Coastal Basin
Overview and Goals
Since 2002, water quality testing has found that concentrations of bacteria are elevated in Oso Creek, which may pose a risk to people who swim or wade in it. Swimming and wading are called “contact recreation” in the state’s standards for water quality; the term refers to all recreation in which people come in direct contact with the water. The goal of this project is to reduce bacteria concentrations to within acceptable risk levels for contact recreation.
The Oso Creek watershed is wholly contained within Nueces County in the Nueces-Rio Grande Coastal Basin. The creek is about 28 miles long. It flows south-easterly from near the western edge of Corpus Christi over flat to rolling terrain, emptying into Oso Bay. Economic activities in the area include oil and gas refining and production, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism.
Since 2003, the TCEQ, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, and other agencies have conducted several studies of bacteria sources and quantities in the Oso Creek watershed. In 2013, based on results of those studies, the TCEQ began developing a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the creek. A TMDL is like a budget for pollution—determining how much concentrations must be reduced to meet water quality standards. The Center for Water Supply Studies at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi will complete several technical tasks in support of TMDL development.
The TCEQ and area stakeholders also assessed the oyster waters use of Oso Bay and have completed a TMDL for bacteria in Oso Bay. The work done to improve Oso Creek should also improve conditions in Oso Bay.
Staff from the Center for Coastal Studies at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi and the The Coastal Bend Bays Foundation is working with stakeholders to develop a plan for watershed improvement. Public meetings about this project are open to everyone. Meeting records are on the Foundation's website.
For More Information
Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and mention the Oso Creek Bacteria project in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.