Galveston Bay recently earned a grade of A for water quality and overall score of ‘C’ from The Galveston Bay Foundation and Houston Advanced Research Center.
According to the Houston Chronicle, though this report is promising, its incomplete. More diligent monitoring from government agencies is needed for lawmakers and the general public to keep track of the quality of Galveston Bay’s water, and the bay itself. Galveston Bay saw a 50,000 acre drop in the area of its wetlands between 1953 and 2010, a trend that could leave the Houston area vulnerable to flooding if it continues unchecked.
This is of special importance now, with such dramatic population growth in Houston and other areas of the bay leading to more construction and development of land. Proposed funding cuts to environmental programs in Trump’s budget could exacerbate the problem if they’re passed.
The Texas Environmental Quality Commission doesn’t adequately monitor the bay’s waters for hazardous chemicals like dioxin, one of the most hazardous chemicals to humans known to exist. With the possibility of dioxin hanging around in the bay and moving into the food people eat, stepping up monitoring in this area is highly important.
With so many people living in the Galveston watershed area, and the implications for Texans beyond it, keeping the bay clean looks to be beneficial for all of Texas.