Houston Matters

Galveston Bay Is in Fair Condition, but Some Wildlife Is Declining

The 2018 Report Card prepared by the Galveston Bay Foundation and the Houston Advanced Research Center also notes the grade in the water quality category is an A

Galveston Bay is in fair condition in general terms, but some of its wildlife is declining, according to the 2018 edition of the Report Card prepared by the Galveston Bay Foundation and the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

T’Noya Thompson, the foundation’s Report Card coordinator, told Houston Matters Wednesday that the overall health grade of the bay is C.

However, the grade in the habitat and wildlife categories is D. As an example, HARC president and CEO Lisa Gonzalez detailed that the blue crab population is declining.

T’Noya Thompson, coordinator of the report for the Galveston Bay Foundation (left), and Lisa Gonzalez, president and CEO of the Houston Advanced Research Center (right), were guests on Houston Matters and talked about the 2018 Report Card.

The report also has good news, such as the grade in the water quality category being A, same as last year. Gonzalez noted “that’s some really good news because we’ve seen some real improvements over the years in regional water quality” and specified the researchers have seen “an improvement in the grades relating to oil spills, both number and volume.”

Thompson underlined that the best way to conserve the bay in a good condition is to use a multi-faceted approach, but she added that “if you are looking at individual ways to help out, we are focusing on some sustainable behavior practices that will help with the bay,” such as proper disposal of pet waste, applying lawn fertilizer sparingly and conserving water.

Gonzalez explained Hurricane Harvey impacted the research because “the monitoring programs that we rely on for data, for the report card, basically stop during those events.” “So the data stops maybe the day before the event,” added Gonzalez “and doesn’t pick up for a couple of weeks afterwards, so we end up with these large data gaps.”

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