Seagrass Conservation Plan for Texas

Authors: Texas Parks & Wildlife, Resource Protection Division

Year: 1999

Reference: Texas Parks & Wildlife, Resource Protection Division. 1999. Seagrass Conservation Plan for Texas

Summary: Trends of seagrass in Galveston Bay, Corpus Christi – Redfish Bays area, and Laguna Madre are covered. Three main subject areas related to seagrass are: research, management/policy, and education/outreach. Research has shown that dredging and filling activities are a major anthropogenic disturbance affecting seagrass. Mortality due to burial and reduced light via sediment resuspension are known to occur. Dredging can also lead to hypoxia, and erosion of grass meadows though changes in hydrologic conditions. Eutrophication is known to produce phytoplankton and epiphytic macroalgae that adversely affect seagrass. Seagrass management and policy objectives have identified some key problem areas: seagrass beds are being lost/degraded,species composition is changing, there is a lack of agency coordination, data synthesis/monitoring are insufficient for management decisions, and public outreach/education is too limited to achieve their goals. Seagrass regulation needs to include: screening levels for suspended sediment, nutrient concentrations, turbidity levels, salinity levels, best management practices, 404 and 401 permits of the Clean Water Act, and the Texas Coastal Management Plan (CMP). Seagrass management programs need to focus on: seagrass restoration/creation, dredging and development, policy consistency, research, data acquisition, and monitoring. Research on planting techniques and entire watershed plans are needed. Education and outreach has the potential to have a greater positive impact than regulation.

What You Will Find Here: Introduction p. 15, Research Issues p. 30, Management Issues p. 44, Education and Outreach p. 60, Implication of objectives p. 71