Freshwater inflows to the Matagorda Bay system are continuing to decline dramatically from historical levels as more and more water is impounded and withdrawn for use upstream of the coast. Purchasing as much as 10,000 acre-feet a year of existing water rights on tributary streams to Tres Palacios Bay would improve conditions for oysters and near-shore aquatic species within the estuarine portion of the Tres Palacios River and would enhance approximately 840 acres of wetland habitat adjacent to that section of the river. The project will also benefit the ecological health of the entire Matagorda Bay estuary system by protecting these types of habitats—and the species that rely on them—during times of drought when other inflows to the system are significantly reduced.
PROJECT COST: $15,000,000
LEAD ORGANIZATION: The Nature Conservancy
PARTNERS: National Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Harte Research Institute, NFWF
- Supports an estimated $2.4 million in annual oyster harvests
- Acres supporting recreational and commercial fishing: 200
- Potential tone carbon storage: 731