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Environmental Flows Process

About the Bay/Basin Expert Science Teams

Updated August 6, 2010

Each Bay/Basin Expert Science Team (BBEST) is made up of technical specialists with knowledge regarding the river basin and bay system or the development of environmental flow regimes. Eleven BBESTs are to be created, one for each area shown on the statewide map. The Science Teams for the Brazos and Rio Grande basins will be formed in early 2011.

What is involved in being a Science Team member?

Serving on a Science Team is a significant commitment. Each BBEST has one year to develop environmental flow analyses and come up with a environmental flow regime for its river basin and bay system. The Science Team's recommendations should be based solely on the best science available, without regard to the need for the water for other uses. The teams are to use a collaborative process designed to achieve consensus.

Members of the Science Teams receive some compensation for their participation and travel expenses. Once appointed, the members of the Science Teams decide where and how often they should meet. Meetings are open to the public. Members of the Science Teams serve five-year terms. A person may serve on more than one Science Team at a time.

The Relationship with the Stakeholder Committee

The makeup of each BBEST is determined by each region's Stakeholder Committee. Each Science Team submits its environmental flow regime recommendations to its respective Stakeholder Committee as well as to the Environmental Flows Advisory Group and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The Science Teams provide additional analyses and support as their Stakeholder Committees develop their comments. The BBESTs also assist the Stakeholder Committees in developing a work plan to address adaptive management issues, such as periodic refinement of the environmental flow regime recommendations, standards and strategies.

Would you make a good potential candidate?

The Texas Living Waters Project is gathering names of potential scientists to consider nominating to serve on the Bay/Basin Expert Science Teams. If you or someone you know would be a good candidate, please contact Jennifer Ellis of National Wildlife Federation at 512-476-9805 x756, or ellis@nwf.org.>

Additional Resources

Define It

Environmental Flow Analysis

"Environmental Flow Analysis" means the application of a scientifically derived process for predicting the response of an ecosystem to changes in instream flows or freshwater inflows.

Environmental Flow Regime

"Environmental Flow Regime" means a schedule of flow quantities that reflects seasonal and yearly fluctuations that typically would vary geographically, by specific location in a watershed, and that are shown to be adequate to support a sound ecological environment and maintain the productivity, extent, and persistence of key aquatic habitats in and along the affected water bodies.