Authors: Onuf, C.P.
Reference: Onuf, C.P. 2006. Laguna Madre: Seagrass Status and Trends in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: 1940-2002.
Summary: The history since mapping efforts in the 1960s and characteristics of Laguna Madre is provided. For example, the average depth of the lagoon is 1ft, and there is little inflow of nutrients or suspended solids from the surrounding watershed. The result of dredging the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) to connect the upper and lower Laguna Madre is discussed. This includes the increased turbidity caused by dredging and the resuspension of dredged material during dredging and dredged material placement. The connection of the upper and lower Laguna Madre has caused a reduction in salinity which has opened a niche for other types of seagrass besides shoal grass, such as manatee grass and turtle grass. Dieback of the seagrass meadow has resulted in nutrient releases and algal blooms (brown tide). This paper presents a view that does not support the possibility of a maintained shipping channel and a fully functioning Laquna Madre ecosystem existing side by side.
What You Will Find Here: Scope of Area p. 29, Bottom cover Table 1 p. 33, Effects of Dredging p. 36, Brown Tides p. 38, USACE influence p. 39