Houston, TX (September 20, 2022) – Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) announce the release of the 2022 Galveston Bay Report Card, which provides detailed information on the current state of the water quality and ecosystems of the Galveston Bay. The Report looks at the data and trends that describe the Bay and the surrounding watersheds, an area spanning over 7,000 square miles, and including communities in Galveston, Sugar Land, Conroe, and beyond.
HARC and GBF have gathered information on the Bay since 2015. This consistent level of active and ongoing research provides details on which areas of the Bay are doing well, which areas may be under stress, and any areas where improvements may be required to keep the Bay healthy and resilient. The findings are shared with the community to keep them informed on the state of the Bay.
“Each year, we take an in-depth look at the Bay to monitor its performance in a number of areas,” said Dr. Erin Kinney, HARC’s Research Scientist in charge of monitoring the Bay. “Our goal is to see how the Bay is impacted by weather events such as floods, hurricanes, and droughts – all of which we’ve experienced in this area over the last two years. Knowing the impact of these events on the Bay will help us to formulate the right plans for keeping the Bay healthy and resilient, and help us provide the right information to the community so that they know which areas are safe for human activity, and any areas where there may be concerns.”
The full Galveston Bay Report Card covers 22 indicators or areas of review. This year, the team is highlighting the areas of most concern to the communities that live in close proximity to the Bay, and to people who use the Bay regularly for fishing and other recreational activities. The areas highlighted this year include Water Quality, Health Risks for Humans, Pollution, and Wildlife; and there is good news in each of these categories:
In most other areas, there were no changes to the status reported last year. Due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, there are some areas where the data is insufficient to provide an accurate assessment for this year, so the team will address those in next year’s report.
“Every year, our aim is to report on the areas of most concern to the community, which is why we’re emphasizing ‘Every bayou, Every neighborhood, Everyone’s bay’,” said Lisa Scobel, GBF’s Marine Debris Program Coordinator. “We want to actively engage with all communities impacted by the Bay to find out what they want to know about the Bay. This helps to direct our research and to ensure that we are providing the community with the information they want and need. Our goal is to protect the ongoing health and resilience of the Bay so that it remains a safe and healthy place for nature and the community.”
In addition to providing a yearly assessment on the state of the Bay, the Galveston Bay Report provides several tools, suggestions, and resources to show people how they can participate in keeping the Bay healthy. The Galveston Bay Report website, galvbaygrade.org, provides resources and information on how to recycle, reduce trash, and tackle pollution. The What You Can Do section provides insights on how people can participate in helping to maintain the health of the Bay based on the amount of time they have available and their areas of interest.