Galveston Bay: Issues, resources, status, and management.
U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA Estuarine Programs Office
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The Galveston Bay estuary has an ecosystem that has endured both the use and abuse of a highly populated urban and industrial complex and agricultural production while maintaining fisheries harvests and supporting other water-related sporting activities. There have been measurable declines in many important components in the Galveston Bay estuary and we fear that more detrimental changes will emerge in the future. The Galveston Bay complex (Trinity, Galveston, East and West Bays) is still producing a large harvest of shellfish and finfish for commercial and sports fishermen and it provides a valuable habitat for many other important species such as waterfowl and shore birds. Management decisions that are being made now will determine the Galveston Bay of the future. In making these decisions, too much information cannot be provided but at this time there are many questions and even fewer answers about what should be done to protect or improve the health of Galveston Bay.