Freshwater Inflows and Estuaries
Estuaries are the most productive ecosystems on the earth and freshwater inflows are the single most important determinant of that productivity. Altering the timing and amount of inflows reduces the overall productivity of the bays and changes its character, which in turn adversely impact fisheries. Freshwater inflows are important to coastal ecosystem, because they:
- Maintain the salinity necessary to sustain juvenile fish and shrimp.
- Provide much of the nutrients and phytoplankton that form the base of the estuarine food web.
- Flush Pollutants from the bays.
- Sustain a mosaic of habitats from salt marshes to grass flats to oyster bars.
- Signal fish to spawn or move to different habitat.
- Texas' State Methodology
- Guadalupe Estuary
- Nueces Estuary
- Matagorda Estuary
- Trinity-San Jacinto Estuary
- Archived Freshwater Inflow Workgroup Meeting Notes