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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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Overview

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.

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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.

  • Tres Palacios Creek Tidal (Segment 1501)
  • Lavaca River Above Tidal (Segment 1602)
  • Rocky Creek (Segment 1602B)
  • Arenosa Creek (Segment 2453C)
  • Carancahua Bay (Segment 2456)

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Contact Us

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