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Caney Creek Tidal and Linnville Bayou: A Community Project to Protect Recreational Uses

A project to reduce bacteria and protect recreational safety in Caney Creek and Linnville Bayou. 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 Caney Creek
Caney Creek Tidal

Counties: Matagorda, Brazoria, Wharton
Parameter: Bacteria
Basin: Brazos–Colorado Coastal
Segments: 1304, 1304A
Assessment Units (AUs): 1304_01, 1304A_01

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Background and Goals

The Caney Creek watershed lies in southeast Texas near the Houston–Galveston area and includes the cities of Wharton, Boling-Iago, and Van Vleck. The watershed includes portions of Matagorda, Brazoria, and Wharton counties. Caney Creek flows southeastward before emptying into the Intracoastal Waterway (ICWW) near the northeast end of East Matagorda Bay.

High concentrations of bacteria, which are found in both human and animal waste, have been observed in certain AUs of Caney Creek Tidal (Segment 1304, AU 1304_01) and Linnville Bayou (Segment 1304A, AU 1304A_01). The presence of these bacteria may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the creek or bayou—activities referred to as contact recreation in the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards.

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

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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. Meeting information is posted on H-GAC's Brazos-Colorado Coastal Basin webpageExit the TCEQ. All public meetings about this project are open to anyone interested. Watch for meeting announcements here and on H-GAC's project webpage.

UPDATENext Meeting

August 17, 2021
4:00 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.
Via Online Zoom Meeting

Please register in advance to attend this meetingExit the TCEQ. Upon registering, you will receive an email with the information you will need to join the meeting.

At this meeting, project staff and stakeholders will discuss the draft I-Plan.

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Draft TMDLs

Community stakeholders advised TCEQ and H-GAC on development of the TMDL. The public comment period for these TMDLs has closed. TCEQ will notify stakeholders when the TMDLs are adopted, with revisions as needed. When adopted, the TMDLs will become part of the state's Water Quality Management Plan.


For More Information

Please send an e-mail to, and mention the Caney 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