Texas

Assessment of Changing Ecosystem Services Provided by Marsh Habitat in the Galveston Bay Region

This study identifies potential changes in ecosystem service values provided by wetland habitats in the Galveston Bay region.  The study shows that selected habitats (fresh marsh, salt marsh and swamp) present a steady decline in time under three sea level rise scenarios. 

Project Contact:
Dr. David Yoskowitz
david.yoskowitz@tamucc.edu


K - 20 Mini-grants in Texas

The Alliance's Education Team supports environmental education in Texas by providing the following K-20 mini-grants:
- Galveston Bay Foundation for Get Hip to Habitat
- University of Texas Marine Science Institute for Summer Field Science Program
- Texas State Aquarium for Sunset Lake Invaders
- Legacy Land Trust for Know Your Watershed
- Texas Parks & Wildlife for Groundwater to the Gulf
- Colorado River Foundation for River Stewards

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
Lyokel@disl.org


Pilot Nutrient Criteria Development

This pilot project characterizes the nutrient dynamics in the Mission-Aransas estuary in terms of their sources, transport, fate and effects. The project will provide a more complete understanding of the relationships between freshwater inflow, nutrients, physical processes, and biological communities with the goal of developing nutrient criteria for coastal ecosystems of the Western Gulf of Mexico (GOM).

Results from the first year of study clearly show the importance of storms in delivering nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic matter to Copano Bay. Nutrients delivered during a September 2010 storm resulted in elevated nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations for a month during the storm was removed by denitrification. Six months later nitrogen concentrations in the bay were low enough that we measured nitrogen fixation, suggesting a strong demand for nitrogen.  Ongoing sampling will provide insight into nutrient dynamics during drought conditions.

Project Contact:
Dr. Ed Buskey
ed.buskey@mail.utexas.edu


Public Awareness Mini-grants in Texas

The Alliance's Education Team supports public awareness efforts in Texas by providing a mini-grant to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service for their Kids Teaching Parents Environmental Education program.

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

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Regional Sediment Management Master Plan for West Galveston Bay

A first-ever regional sediment management plan for West Galveston Bay is currently being developed by the Alliance's Habitat Conservation & Restoration Team. The area was seriously impacted by Hurricane Ike in 2008, making this critical and timely work. The plan includes a sediment budget and hydrodynamic modeling and inventories possible projects and sediment sources.

Read more, get the full report.

Project Contact:
Larry Parson and Carl Ferraro
Larry.E.Parson@usace.army.mil; Carl.Ferraro@dcnr.alabama.gov


Sea-level Rise Modeling for San Bernard & Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge in Texas

The Alliance's Habitat Conservation & Restoration Team completed sea-level rise modeling on five National Wildlife Refuge Study areas, including the San Bernard & Big Boggy refuge in Texas. These sites were selected from a list of 21 refuges that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service had proposed modeling for but that had not been funded. Proposed sites for which available data did not meet HCRT minimum data requirements were trimmed from that list. Modeling reports should be available in late 2011 and will be posted as soon as they are.

Read more, get the full report.

Project Contact:
George Ramseur
George.Ramseur@dmr.ms.gov

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Sea-level Rise Modeling, Storm Surge Analysis and Conservation Analysis in Texas

In 2008, the Alliance's Habitat Conservation & Restoration Team partnered with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to assess potential impacts to coastal habitat with sea level rise. Models for three sites have been run, Jefferson County and Galveston Bay, Texas, are among them.  In each area, stakeholder concerns and suggestions have strengthened results and confidence in them. During the conduct of this project, the HCRT set data criteria for SLAMM modeling to guide future site selection and to improve the reliability of results and thereby make the best use of project funding. Results from the Galveston Bay project were fed into the ecosystem services project being conducted under HCRT action 5.

Read more, get the full report.

Project Contact:
George Ramseur
george.ramseur@dmr.ms.gov

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StormSmart Coasts Network in Texas

http://tx.stormsmart.org/

With 367 miles of Gulf shoreline and 3,300 miles of bay and estuarine shoreline, the Texas coast has a need to stay informed about resilience tools.  The Texas StormSmart Coasts web site is customized with information relative to Texas, including categories such as "Before the Storm", "During the Storm", "After the Storm", and "Funding." In addition, the Texas web site also contains a "Tools" section which contains helpful features to reduce community risk.  The accompanying professional networking site, StormSmart Connect, allows local decision makers to share information with one another through profiles, groups, and forums.

Project Contact:
Tracie Sempier
tracie.sempier@usm.edu

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Study of Ecosystem Services Provided by Marsh Habitat in Galveston Bay

The Alliance's Habitat Conservation & Restoration Team has partnered with the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies to study the potential effects of sea level rise on ecosystem services in Galveston Bay, Texas. Identifying the service flows for marsh habitat type in the Galveston Bay area, then overlaying sea level rise projections under various scenarios and time frames should provide resource managers and local officials understandable information to base development and conservation decisions on. Assessing the productivity of ecosystems in terms of ecosystem services offers a view of tangible, and often quantifiable, factors to weigh against traditional economic development parameters.

This can lead to more prudent and efficient outcomes for coastal communities. In addition to providing good information for Galveston-area officials, the HCRT will use the lessons from this endeavor to promote similar projects around the Gulf. Sea level rise projections from the Galveston Bay SLAMM project conducted under HCRT action 3 served as inputs for this project.

Read more, get the full report.

Project Contact:
Keith Lovell and Ryan Fikes
keith.lovell@la.gov; ryan@gulfmex.org

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Texas Homeowner Handbook for Natural Hazards

The Texas Homeowners Handbookwas created by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Coastal Community Resilience priority issue team to help homeowners prepare for natural hazards to reduce risks to family and property. While it is never possible to eliminate all damage from a natural hazard, homeowners can take action and implement many small and cost-effective steps that could significantly lower risk.  The handbook includes sections on how to prepare before the storm, mititgation measures to increase residential resilience, and insurance options available to homeowners in Texas.

Project Contact:
Rhonda Price
rhonda.price@dmr.ms.gov

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