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Matagorda Bay Watersheds: Protecting Recreational Uses

The goal of this current project is to make recreation safer by reducing bacteria levels in waterways of the greater Matagorda Bay watershed.

map of Matagorda Bay watersheds

Matagorda Bay Watersheds
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High bacteria concentrations can indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in natural waters—called “contact recreation” in the state’s standards for water quality, the term refers to all recreation in which people are likely to swallow natural waters.

The Texas Water Resources Institute is working on behalf of the TCEQ with local stakeholders to develop a watershed-based strategy that will reduce bacterial pollution and improve water quality in area waterways.

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Get Involved

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) is coordinating public participation in improving the greater Matagorda Bay watershed. Meetings about the project are open to everyone. Watch for meeting announcements on the TWRI website Exit the TCEQ.

UPDATE Next Meeting

April 5, 2019
1:00 p.m.
Victoria County 4-H Activity Center
259 Bachelor Drive
Victoria 77905

Stakeholders will meet to discuss strategies for addressing the water quality impairments in Arenosa Creek and Garcitas Creek.

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About the Watershed

Location: Texas Gulf Coast in the upper portion of the coastal bend region.

Counties: All or parts of Calhoun, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca, Matagorda, Victoria, and Wharton. 

River Basins: The Colorado-Lavaca (Basin 15), the Lavaca (Basin 16) and the Lavaca-Guadalupe (Basin 17).

Matagorda Bay and the water bodies feeding it support a diverse and rich ecosystem that sustains a robust commercial fishery, abundant wildlife, and more than 300 species of birds. The watershed is largely rural with grassland, cropland, and forests dominating the landscape. The cities of Port Lavaca and Palacios are national leaders in shrimp and blue crab processing, respectively. Tourism is a major economic driver, as are the aluminum, chemical, and petroleum processing industries.

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Waterways of Focus

Activities will focus on five waterways where bacteria concentrations exceed standards, with an eye toward broader solutions for the entire watershed.

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For More Information

Please e-mail us at tmdl@tceq.texas.gov, and mention the Matagorda Bay Watersheds 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