Energy & Environment

Galveston Bay Gets Mixed Grades For Its Environmental Health

According to a new study, some areas are showing big improvement while others are having serious problems.

The study was conducted by the Galveston Bay Foundation and the Houston Advanced Research Center. It gives the health of Galveston Bay an overall grade of “C.” That’s the same grade it got last year.

Researchers gave scores in several different categories. That included things like water quality, sources of pollution, and risks to human health. The Research Center’s Lisa Gonzales says one of the report’s bright spots was in the wildlife category.

“We looked at five species of finfish that are found in the bay,” says Gonzales. “And basically all of those trends are stable.”

But the report indicated concern about rising sea levels and subsidence, something that can’t be totally fixed on a local level.

Galveston Bay Foundation President Bob Stokes says they’ve been measuring tides on Galveston Island for over 100 years and they’ve definitely seen some changes.

“We’re not necessarily predicting any specific sea level rise in the future but we know it’s going to happen,” explains Stokes. “And I think it’s something, when you’re grading the health of the bay, to be aware of and plan around.”

But Stokes adds there are things people can do to help keep the bay healthy. He says using less fertilizer on lawns would help, since a lot of it winds up the bay because of runoff.

The report also cautions boaters not to dump anything in the water and to be careful around sensitive wildlife habitats.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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