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The Environmental
   Flows Allocation

Flows map

    Rio Grande

Trinity & San Jacinto Rivers/Galveston Bay

Updated June 3, 2011

Trinity & San Jacinto Rivers area The Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers and Galveston Bay system is one of the first two bay-basin systems to undergo a statewide process to determine how much water is needed to protect rivers and bays while allowing for increased use due to population growth. This process provided the three commissioners of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) with an opportunity to adopt environmental flow standards to protect the natural heritage of East Texas for future generations.

However, on April 20, 2011, TCEQ failed to take this opportunity and declined to protect a "sound ecological environment" of Galveston Bay and the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers.

The shallow waters covering Galveston Bay's 600 square miles have historically produced as much as 80% of the oysters harvested in the state. The area's blue crab and shrimp harvests are also some of the largest in Texas. Galveston Bay is loved by recreational anglers and its shallow waters are home to Atlantic croaker, flounder, spotted seatrout, and many other species of fish. Nearly three hundred different kinds of birds have been seen in the area around Galveston Bay. This natural diversity is due in large part to the freshwater flowing into Galveston Bay from the Trinity and San Jacinto rivers.

Despite the critical importance of freshwater inflows to ecosystem health, the adopted standards fail to protect sufficient flow from the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers into Galveston Bay. Approved by a 2-1 vote, the standards allow drastically reduced freshwater inflows to Galveston Bay creating extremely salty and inhospitable conditions for wildlife - wildlife that play a critical role in the health of the local economy.

trout fishingWhat You Can Do
Let the TCEQ Commissioner know that Texans will not accept this future for East Texas rivers and bays. Send a brief letter to Chairman Bryan Shaw, Commissioner Carlos Rubinstein and Commissioner Buddy Garcia at TCEQ, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, TX 78711-3087. Please thank Commissioner Garcia for being the "no" vote on the inadequate standards, and send Gov. Rick Perry a copy of your letter at P.O. Box 12428, Austin, TX 78711-2428.

Additional Resources





Take Action!

Timeline for the rulemaking:

Nov. 19-Dec. 20 Public comment period

Dec. 16 Public Hearing in Austin

Want to get involved? Contact Jennifer Ellis at 512-476-9805 or ellis@nwf.org

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Saving the bay
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