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Galveston Bay Oysters Under Assault, Gets Bad Grade For Pollution

Galveston Bay is facing a shortage of oysters and surplus of pollution. That’s according to an assessment by the Galveston Bay Foundation.


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Bob Stokes is president of the Galveston Bay Foundation


Swimmers at Sylvan Beach on Galveston Bay in La Porte

It’s a day at the beach for families in La Porte. Bright sunshine sparkles on the waters of Galveston Bay where kids are swimming.

But inside a nearby community center there was concern that the Bay, while in some ways better, is facing some troubling health issues.

“We’ve got a very exciting report on the health of Galveston Bay,” says Bob Stokes to small audience of local politicians and environmentalists.

Stokes is president of the Galveston Bay Foundation.

“The water today in Galveston Bay is much cleaner that it was 30 to 40 years ago, “ Stokes later tells News 88.7.

The Foundation presented results of a “report card” on the Bay’s health.

“So water quality gets a “B” and that’s a positive story … We still have issues with old dumpsites where there is dioxin and PCBs,” says Stokes.

That’s why for pollution, the report gives the Bay a “D”, citing old toxic dumps and recent oil spills that could threaten wildlife and the safety of seafood.

Also getting a “D” was wildlife which the report said had deteriorated over the years. Particularly hard-hit are oysters which Stokes says have been depleted because of over-fishing, drought, and Hurricane Ike that covered reefs with sediment.

“It’s kind of a triple whammy for oysters,” Stokes says. “Oysters don’t disappear overnight, and they don’t come back overnight.”

The report’s overall grade for the Bay: “C.”

The assessment was prepared with data analyzed by the Houston Advanced Research Center.


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