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Dickinson Bayou: Implementing a Watershed Protection Plan

A project that implemented and demonstrated best management practices from the Dickinson Bayou Watershed Protection Plan (WPP). Practices included water-smart landscaping, low-impact development, and septic system maintenance and design.


Dickinson Bayou (Segments 1103 and 1104 in the San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal Basin) has not met state water quality criteria or has been of concern due to bacteria and dissolved oxygen concentrations since 1996. As a result, the bayou does not meet the aquatic-life or contact-recreation uses established in the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards. In 2004, the Dickinson Bayou Watershed Partnership came together through the shared interest of its members in preserving and enhancing the natural integrity of the watershed. The Partnership completed a WPP in the spring of 2009, which was then revised to incorporate information from total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) that identified bacteria reductions necessary to meet the criteria for support of the contact recreation use in eight areas of the bayou and some of its tributaries.

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Project Description

This project implemented and demonstrated effective best management practices (BMPs) within the Dickinson Bayou watershed. Water-smart landscaping and low-impact development (LID) education were promoted through installation of two water-smart demonstration landscapes and two LID demonstration sites. Workshops were held about proper maintenance of on-site sewage facilities (septic tanks), and a hazard map was developed. The use of wetlands to protect and enhance water quality was promoted through work with local stormwater authorities to install a stormwater-treatment wetland.

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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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