Christmas Bay Sea grass Inventory (1998 - 99)
Pulich, Dr. Warren
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While true sea grasses (submerged marine angiosperms) disappeared from the mainstem Galveston Bay system by the late 1970's (Pulich and White 1991), a remnant population has survived in the secondary bay system, Christmas and Drum Bays, in the extreme southwestern bay region adjacent to Follet's Island. Because of its very sensitive sea grass habitat, the Christmas Bay system has been a priority conservation site for State resource management programs. In 1988, this area was designated an official State Coastal Preserve and State Scientific Area by the Texas General Land Office (TGLO) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the two State agencies with primary coastal management authority for coastal wetlands (TPWD 1996). The Galveston Bay Estuary Program (GBEP) also has worked through these agencies to develop protective strategies focused on the pristine Christmas Bay system. Water quality protection and monitoring of discharges of pollutants and wastewater, shoreline erosion control, and status and trends inventories of critical biological resources have been proposed (GBNEP 1995) for the system in the Galveston Bay Plan. This report summarizes a recent mapping project to determine the current status of Christmas Bay sea grasses that was undertaken as part of an EPA wetlands management grant, X986174-01-2 to GBEP.