Lavaca-Tres Palacios estuary: a study of the influence of freshwater inflows. Draft report.




Texas Department of Water Resources

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Texas Department of Water Resources


The Texas Water Plan of 1968 tentatively allocated specific annual amounts of water to supplement freshwater inflow to Texas' bays and estauries. These amounts were recognized at the time as no more than preliminary estimates of inflow based upon historical inflows to each estuary. Furthermore, the optimal seasonal and spatial distribution of the inflows could not be determined at the time because of insufficient knowledge of the estuarine ecosystems. Established public policy stated in the Texas Water Code (Section 1.003 as amended, Acts 1975) provides for the conservation and development of the State's natural resources, including the maintenace of a proper ecological environment of the bays abd estuaries of Texas and the health of related living marine resources. Both Senate Concurrent Resolution 101 (63rd Legislature, 1973) and Senate Resolution 267 (64th Legislature, 1975) declare that a sufficient inflow of freshwater is necessary to protect and maintain the ecological health of Texas estuaries and related living marine resources. In 1975, the 64th Texas legislature enacted Senate Bill 137, a mandate for comprehensive studies of the effects of freshwater inflow upon the bays and estuaries of Texas. Reports published as part of the efort were to address the relationship pf freshwater inflow to the health of living estuarine resources (e.g., fish, shrimp, etc.) and to present methods of providing and maintaining a suitable ecological environment. The technical analyses were to characterize the relationships which have maintained the estuarine environments historically and which have provided for the production of living resources at observed historic levels. This report is one in a series of reports on Texas bays and estuaries designed to fulfill the mandate of Senate Bill 137. Six major estuaries on the Texas coast are part of the series, including (1) the Nueces estuary, (2) the Mission-Aransas estaury, (3) the Gualalupe estuary, (4) the Lavaca-Tres Palacios estuary, (5) the Trinity-San Jacinto estuary, and (6) the Sabine-Neches estuary. Reports in the S.B. 137 series are designed to explain in a conprehensive, yet understandable manner, the results of these planning efforts.


398 pgs.


estuaries, bays, fresh water, inflow, estuarine dynamics, freshwater environment, government policy, environmental legislation, salinity, estuarine fisheries