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Oyster Creek: A Community Project to Protect Recreational Uses

A project to reduce bacteria and protect recreational safety in Oyster Creek. The stakeholders and TCEQ are developing a total maximum daily load (TMDL) and implementation plan (I-Plan), which together will be the road map for improving water quality.
photo of Oyster Creek
Oyster Creek
Photo Courtesy of the
Houston-Galveston Area Council

Counties: Brazoria, Fort Bend
Parameter: Bacteria
Basin: San Jacinto–Brazos Coastal
Segments: 1109, 1110
Assessment Units (AUs): 1109_01, 1110_01

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Background and Goals

The Oyster Creek watershed lies in southeast Texas in the Houston Area. The 95-mile creek originates in southeastern Fort Bend County and travels southward through central Brazoria County before turning southeastward at the City of Lake Jackson. From there, Oyster Creek meanders and broadens across the Texas coastal plain before terminating at the Gulf Coast Intercostal Waterway near the cities of Brazosport and Surfside Beach.

Since 2006, high concentrations of bacteria, which are found in both human and animal waste, have been observed in two segments of the creek—Oyster Creek Tidal (1109) and Oyster Creek Above Tidal (1110). Oyster Creek Tidal has only one AU, 1109_01. The Above Tidal segment has three AUs; only the lower AU, 1110_01, is impaired for bacteria. The presence of these bacteria may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the creek—activities referred to as “contact recreation” in the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards.

The goal of this project is to improve water quality to protect recreational uses. Toward that goal, TCEQ and stakeholders are developing TMDLs and an I-Plan to reduce bacteria in Oyster Creek.

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Get Involved

Staff from the Houston–Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) have been working with communities, interest groups, and local organizations to distribute information about this project and involve stakeholders in developing the I-Plan for watershed improvement. All public meetings about this project are open to anyone interested. Watch for meeting announcements here.

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For More Information

Please send an e-mail to tmdl@tceq.texas.gov, and mention the Oyster Creek bacteria project in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.

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communities working together taking care of our rivers, lakes, and bays