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The State of the Bay Galveston Bay Area Project
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Indicators of Bay Health

Welcome to the Galveston Bay Status and Trends website. The website serves as an entry to data describing Galveston Bay and its surrounding watershed. Please use the navigation area above to explore the status and trends of Galveston Bay resources and the indicators of bay health that interest you.

Why Do We Need to Manage the Bay?

Whether you live on the shore of the bay, Galveston Island, or on the west side of Houston, the Houston-Galveston region is defined by its coastal location and proximity to Galveston Bay. A healthy bay and watershed which are managed wisely provide a unique environment to all who live, work, and play in the Houston-Galveston region. Managing bay and watershed resources to promote wise use and protection will sustain those resources for generations to come. In order to manage bay and watershed resources successfully, we need to understand ecosystem processes and the impacts of human uses on bay resources. Status and Trends and indicators of bay health are information tools which facilitate sound management of the Galveston Bay Ecosystem.

Why Do We Study Status and Trends?

Certain aspects of Galveston Bay and the surrounding watershed can be examined to assess the overall health of the complex bay ecosystem - these are referred to as Indicators of Bay Health. Important indicators of bay health include: water and sediment quality, populations of native and nonnative fish and wildlife, quantity and quality of diverse habitats, and the amount of freshwater flowing into the bay.

Since Galveston Bay exists in a large metropolitan area, one must also look at the status and trends of human uses of the bay and watershed ecosystems including: recreational and commercial fisheries harvest, seafood safety, transportation and shipping,recreation, and commercial and residential development.

While each indicator provides insight into one aspect of bay health and each can be examined independently, all are interconnected. Therefore, it is very important to have an integrated, ecosystem-level understanding of the state of Galveston Bay using data from various sources. Information describing the indicators of bay health is routinely gathered by many agencies and organizations at the federal, state, and local level. The Galveston Bay Status and Trends project gathers, manages, and analyzes the data and makes them available through one website.









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