Corpus Christi Beaches: A TMDL Project to Protect Recreational Uses
Cole Park, Corpus Christi
Photo by Jason Leifester
River Basin: Bays and Estuaries, Nueces River
Segment: 2481CB_03 and 2481CB_04
Background and Goals
Corpus Christi bays and estuaries are nursery grounds for fish and shellfish, and supply essential food and habitat for birds, fish, and other plants and animals. They are also home to ports, marinas, and commercial shipping activities. Corpus Christi beaches and estuaries are popular destinations for fishing, boating, swimming, sand-castle building, and birdwatching.
The goal of the project is to reduce bacteria levels in order to protect people who swim at the beaches. Swimming and other types of water recreation are referred to as "contact recreation" in the state's standards for water quality.
High concentrations of bacteria may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in a water body—activities called “contact recreation” in the state’s standards for water quality.
Several public beach parks along Corpus Christi Bay are monitored as part of the Texas Beach Watch Program . Data assessed from this program indicated bacteria concentrations were higher than the criteria for protecting the contact recreation use at Cole Park and Ropes Park beaches. These beaches correspond to Segments 2481CB_03 and 2481CB_04 of the Texas bays and estuaries basin. When bacteria counts are greater than the criteria, Texas Beach Watch recommends that people be advised not swim in the area.
The TCEQ and its partners collected a more comprehensive data set that represents all conditions at the beaches and identifies all possible sources of bacteria, which confirmed the need to develop TMDLs.
Project personnel will collect additonal water-quality data over two to three years throughout the environment of the beaches, including beach sands and water. Data will be collected under ambient conditions and after rain events.
In all its projects, the TCEQ seeks to gather opinions and information from people who represent government, permitted facilities, agriculture, business, environmental, and community and private interests in the watershed.
Throughout the project, the City of Corpus Christi, Nueces River Authority, the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, and all other stakeholders and communities that use and affect these public beaches will be engaged in developing a strategy to improve water quality.
The Coastal Bend Bays Foundation is coordinating participation in this project.
Meetings are open to everyone. Stay tuned to the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation website for notices of subcommittee meetings and all meeting records.
Documents are provided in PDF.
- Interim Monitoring Report, 2012
Summarizes the data collected from February through July, 2012. All data was collected and analyzed by the Center for Coastal Studies at TAMU-CC.
- Interim Monitoring Report, 2011
Summarizes the data collected from May through August, 2011. All data was collected and analyzed by the Center for Coastal Studies at TAMU-CC.
- Historical Data Review and Site AssessmentAugust 2011, Center for Coastal Studies
Characterizes the Corpus Christi Bay watershed and summarizes data collected in the past. Describes the monitoring plan for collecting current data to support development of TMDLs for Cole Park and Ropes Park beaches.
City of Corpus Christi staff and the Surfrider Foundation Texas Coastal Bend Chapter (18 total volunteers) held an inlet stenciling event on Saturday, June 14th. Volunteers affixed "No Dumping" medallions to 68 inlets and placed 520 educational door hangers on homes, apartments and condominiums in the area bounded by Ocean, Santa Fe, Robert and Doddridge streets in Corpus Christi—one of the drainage basins to Corpus Christi Bay. See more about activities to reduce pollution from stormwater on the city's Facebook site
For More Information
Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and reference the Corpus Christi Beaches project in the subject. Or call Roger Miranda, Project Manager, at 512-239-6682.