The State of the Bay: A Characterization of the Galveston Bay Ecosystem. 2nd Edition.
Gonzalez, Lisa A.
Sage, Theron, Ph. D.
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The Galveston Bay system is a complex ecosystem and a valuable resource for the state and the nation because it provides natural resources, ecological services, recreational opportunities, transportation links, economic benefits and aesthetic rewards. The bay is valued by many people for attributes that cannot be replicated or replaced by human creations. However, the growing number of users and uses and the intended and unintended impacts on the system strain the ability of Galveston Bay to meet historical needs and provide traditional rewards. The goal of protection and management of the bay is to provide for the sustainable use of its resources while maintaining the quality of its assets. The information summarized in this volume was gathered for a single purpose: to improve our management of Galveston Bay. This characterization involves assessing the state of Galveston Bay, an overview of the ecosystem, the human role in the past and present, the physical form and processes present in the bay, the water and sediment quality, key habitats such as: marsh, seagrass, and oyster reefs, the bay's living resources, the impact on public health and how to sustain the bay for future generations.