Texas’ bays, or estuaries, are places where rivers flow into the Gulf of Mexico. The mix of salt and fresh water in these areas provides essential habitat for oysters, shrimp and many species of fish. Migrating birds such as ducks, geese and the endangered whooping crane also depend on the bays for food and shelter. Not only are Texas’ bays vital for wildlife, they also support a large segment of the coastal economy.
This report evaluates how full use of existing water permits could affect freshwater inflows to the Texas coast and gives five of the state’s seven major bays — Sabine Lake, Galveston Bay, Matagorda Bay, San Antonio Bay and Corpus Christi Bay — a “danger” ranking.