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Carancahua Bay: A Community Project to Protect Recreational Uses

A project to reduce bacteria and protect recreational safety in Carancahua Bay. The stakeholders and TCEQ developed a total maximum daily load (TMDL) and implementation plan (I-Plan), which together are the road map for improving water quality. The TMDL is adopted and the I-Plan is approved.
photo of Carancahua Bay
Carancahua Bay
Photo Courtesy of the Texas Institute for
Applied Environmental Research

Communities Working Together

Counties: Calhoun, Jackson
Parameter: Bacteria
Basin: Bays and Estuaries
Segment: 2456
Assessment Unit (AU): 2456_02

On this page:

Project Description and Goal

Carancahua Bay (Segment 2456) is located along the Texas Gulf Coast midway between the cities of Palacios and Port Lavaca. The bay is adjacent to the northern part of Matagorda Bay and its watershed includes parts of Calhoun and Jackson counties.

Since 2006, high concentrations of bacteria, which are found in both human and animal waste, have been observed in the upper half of the bay (AU 2456_02). The presence of these bacteria may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the bay—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. 

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Get Involved

Staff from the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) worked with communities, interest groups, and local organizations to distribute information about this project and involve stakeholders in developing the I-Plan. All public meetings about this project are open to anyone interested. Watch for meeting announcements here and on the TWRI websiteExit the TCEQ

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Approved I-Plan

Community stakeholders worked together to create the I-Plan. The Commission approved the stakeholders' plan on August 26, 2020.

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Adopted TMDL

Community stakeholders worked with the TCEQ to develop the TMDL. On August 26, 2020, the Commission adopted the TMDL for bacteria in Carancahua Bay. EPA approved the TMDL on October 9, 2020, at which time it became part of the state's Water Quality Management Plan.

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Technical Report

Technical Support Document Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Contact the TMDL Program

Please e-mail and mention Carancahua Bay 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