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Lower Laguna Madre, Southern Reaches: Watershed Characterization

A project to analyze water quality data for southern portions of the Lower Laguna Madre coastal watershed as a first step in developing a watershed protection plan.


Portions of the Lower Laguna Madre are listed in the Texas Integrated Report as not meeting Water Quality Standards because of dissolved oxygen levels lower than desired for aquatic life and levels of fecal bacteria that exceed the criteria for protecting recreational users. The analysis is being done to correct a lack of data on pollutant contributions to the Lower Laguna Madre via the Brownsville Ship Channel and several resacas (small oxbow lakes that were formerly channels of the Rio Grande) between the Arroyo Colorado and Rio Grande watersheds. 

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Project Description

The University of Texas–Rio Grande Valley is collecting and analyzing data to characterize current conditions, which will support decisions about the next appropriate steps for improving water quality. The tasks of the characterization include:

  • Acquiring existing data
  • Collecting new monitoring data
  • Identifying potential sources of pollution
  • Educating watershed residents about the quality of the Laguna Madre
  • Convening stakeholder meetings to discuss what was learned by developing the characterization
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For More Information

To find out more about the NPS Program, call 512-239-6682 or e-mail us at

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