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.