Ecologically Significant River and Stream Segments
Figure 4. Map Location of Austin Bayou
Adapted from USGS Houston, Texas. 1975. Original scale 1:250,000
Figure 5. Austin Bayou south of FM 2004
Austin Bayou is a scenic coastal plain bayou fringed by native prairie, agricultural land, and woodlands.15 It begins near Rosharon in North Central Brazoria County and flows southeasterly 26 miles into Bastrop Bay. The bayou is narrow (about 25 feet wide) with a limited flow of water and provides valuable habitat for wildlife, and is a recreational resource to local residents.3 The bayou and associated coastal marsh offer significant habitat for wading birds such as the wood stork, reddish egret and white-faced ibis. Other known inhabitants include white-tailed kites, white-tailed hawks, waterfowl (geese and sandhill cranes), and grassland species (sedge wren, Le Contes sparrow, and grasshopper sparrow). The ecologically unique segment is from the confluence with Bastrop Bayou in Brazoria County upstream to State Highway 288 in Brazoria County.
(1) Biological Function- coastal stream fringed with native prairie and woodlands that display significant overall habitat value.15,16,24
(2) Riparian Conservation Area- fringed by the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge and is part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.
(3) Threatened or Endangered Species/Unique Communities- designated as an internationally significant shorebird site by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, provides habitat for the wood stork, reddish egret, and white-faced ibis.23