The Galveston Bay Plan was approved by the governor of Texas and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1995. It was designed to be implemented over a 20-year period with evaluations every five years.
Progress has been made on all 82 actions originally identified in The Galveston Bay Plan (The Plan). Those actions address the 17 most pressing problems facing the bay, and the Estuary Program will continue implementing the most urgent among them. Inevitably, however, funding limitations, population growth, changes as environmental regulatory programs progress, and new issues have emerged over time. The document, Charting the Course to 2015: Galveston Bay Strategic Action Plan, was created not to replace The Plan, but to help focus and guide its implementation over the next 10 years, in consideration of increasing human demands affecting the ecosystem and limited financial resources.
The Strategic Action Plan (SAP) has three sections that highlight the priority focus areas identified during a series of stakeholder meetings held in 2005 and 2006.
Ecosystem and Human Health
Public Participation and Education
Monitoring and Research
In each of the priority focus areas, the issues of greatest concern are characterized and a series of associated goals and objective are identified. The goals and objectives are designed to guide Estuary Program partners as they plan, fund, and implement policies and programs over the next few years to 2015.
The top nine priorities include:
Protect existing coastal habitats in the Lower Galveston Bay Watershed.
Create a sense of personal ownership and shared responsibility for all cultural components of the community including the public, industry, and government.
Restore and enhance coastal habitats in the Lower Galveston Bay Watershed.
Ensure freshwater inflows necessary to maintain the balance of salinity, nutrients and sediments required to support a productive estuary.
Reduce non-point source (NPS) pollutant loads.
Obtain information to develop and evaluate Estuary Program communication efforts.
Maintain the capacity and integrity of municipal sanitary sewer collection systems to eliminate sewage bypasses and authorized overflows.
Minimize the risk of waterborne illness resulting from contact recreation.
Supply the Council Members with the information and assessments they need to protect and manage the resources of the Galveston Bay ecosystem.