A new concept--water for preservation of bays and estuaries.
In evolving a Texas Water Plan, and while exploring the impact of ever-increasing return flows on the bay systems, the Texas Water Development Board correctly recognized the implications of possible serious damage to the estuaries and fishery by major but inevitable modifications in the river flows. This is an exploration, from the coastal engineering and tidal hydraulics standpoint, to evolve some new concepts that would permit both reasonable maximum river development and preservation - plus enhancement - of the Texas Coastal bays and estuaries. It is found that this is a mixed-water problem and cannot be reasonably solved as a simple fresh water demand. The basic concept evolved is that increased and improved distribution of gulf water inflow into the estuaries may be a good substitute for apparent large fresh water needs. Hydraulic sturctures for controlled fresh water releases into some designated prime spawning and nursery areas may then be expected to provide maximum benefits to the fishery with minimum fresh water. Reduction in, and responsible control of, excessive pollution and spoiling is considered to be a prime requisite in maintenance and preservation of the recreation and fishery aspects of these bays and estuaries. Brought to specific attention is the delicate balance of the life of the commercial oyster in San Antonio and Matagorda Bays.