State of the Bay

Introduction

For more than 40 years federal, state and local agencies and organizations have monitored the health of Galveston Bay. Databases describing the bay’s water and sediment quality, living resources, fisheries landings and seafood safety are just a few of the many that exist. The Galveston Bay Estuary Program (GBEP) has sought to incorporate these distinct agency databases into one, with the intention to apply these data sets to the management issues raised in The Galveston Bay Plan regarding the health and integrity of the bay. The Data Information Management System is the outcome of this decision and is seen as vital in GBEP’s efforts to make informed decisions, build partnerships, and inform the public.

Description of the Data Information Management System

The Data Information Management System is built in several parts. These parts are the Status and Trends Database, the Galveston Bay Wetlands Interactive Mapping System (IMS), and the Galveston Bay Information System.

The Status and Trends Database

The Status and Trends Database (S&T) utilizes historical and recent data collected for Galveston Bay by a number of federal, state and local agencies and organizations. The S&T acquires, manages and analyzes this data. The S&T makes this data available to the public.

For more information on the Status and Trends Database

State of the Bay Report

The State of the Bay Report is about the nature and history of the Galveston Bay system, the findings of studies on Galveston Bay and its watershed, and the management actions based on those findings. As in the first and second editions, the scientific information is placed in the context of historical resource use and modern social and economic features of the Galveston Bay watershed.

For more information and a link to the report

Galveston Bay Wetlands Interactive Mapping System

The Galveston Bay Wetlands Interactive Mapping System (IMS) was developed by the United States Geologic Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center, with funding from the EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program and support from the Galveston Bay Estuary Program, as a component of the Habitat Database for the Galveston Bay Wetland Inventory Project. The IMS is a Web-based geographic information system (GIS) that provides access to spatial data layers. GIS on the Internet provides a much more dynamic tool than a system that displays only a static map or image. The IMS allows users to view, query, and analyze data without the need for GIS software or the necessary expertise to run it.

For more information on Galveston Bay Wetlands Interactive Mapping System

The Galveston Bay Information Center

The Galveston Bay Information Center, funded in part by the Galveston Bay Estuary Program, is a clearinghouse of historic data, documents and reports for the Galveston Bay Estuary Program and the Galveston Bay Watershed.

For more information on the Galveston Bay Information Center

Seafood Safety

Seafood consumption advisories are issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services under the Aquatic Life Law. When indications of a risk to human health are brought to the agency’s attention, a risk assessment is conducted. If a risk assessment indicates an imminent health hazard, the affected area is declared “Prohibited” for affected species, and taking those species from the area becomes a violation of law. An imminent hazard exists if just one or a few meals would result in an acute health problem. If a less immediate hazard exists, one created by longer-term consumption habits, a “Consumption Advisory” is issued with consumption recommendations for affected populations.

Six seafood advisories have been issued for the Galveston Bay system since 1990 and five of them are in effect.

For more information on seafood safety and a map, visit the Galveston Bay Status and Trends site here.

 For the Texas Department of State Health Services website on seafood safety