Skip to Content
Questions or Comments:

Tres Palacios Creek: Watershed Protection Plan Implementation

The Texas Water Resources Institute conducted multiple projects to implement various management measures of the Tres Palacios Creek Watershed Protection Plan, which included education and outreach and septic system remediation.

Map of the Tres Palacios Creek watershed with stream segments.

Project Area

River Basin: Colorado-Lavaca

Water Bodies: Tres Palacios Creek (1501 and 1502)

Location: Matagorda and Wharton counties


Tres Palacios Creek is the primary source of freshwater for Tres Palacios Bay, which opens into Matagorda Bay. Starting in 2006, the tidal segment of Tres Palacios Creek (1501) did not meet state water quality standards for primary contact recreation use due to high bacteria concentrations and did not meet state water quality standards for aquatic life use due to low levels of dissolved oxygen. In 2016, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research, and TCEQ worked with stakeholders to develop the Tres Palacios Creek Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) to improve water quality. The WPP was accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2018.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

Project Descriptions

November 2017 – February 2023

TWRI supported water resources education, outreach, and stakeholder participation. This included organizing new training programs and utilizing existing educational statewide programs such as Lone Star Healthy Streams, Riparian Stream and Ecosystems, and Texas Well Owner Network. TWRI also conducted water quality monitoring to estimate instream load reductions.

July 2018 – February 2023

TWRI coordinated with Matagorda County and the Tres Palacios Oaks and Tidewater Oaks subdivisions to expand septic system inspection, repair, and replacement efforts. TWRI delivered educational materials and programs focused on the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of septic systems.

November 2019 – August 2022

TWRI educated watershed residents about stormwater runoff and pet waste pollution, and developed, installed, and maintained water quality education signage and pet waste stations at Legacy Park in El Campo. The public participated in training programs, stakeholder meetings, and stayed informed via newsletters, website content, and other materials distributed by TWRI.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

For More Information

TWRI Tres Palacios Watershed website

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

Back to the top of the page Back to top