A Year In Review: Galveston Bay Report Card Inspires Action
Report Card Remains Active in Educating the Public and Community Months After its Release
HOUSTON -- Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) and the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) released the results of the fourth annual Galveston Bay Report Card last August. The Report Card is a citizen-driven, science-based grading system supported by Houston Endowment and the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program. Galveston Bay was graded a "C" in overall health, which has remained consistent since the card's inception in 2015. Since announcing the 2018 results, the Report Card team has been hard at work sharing the findings with the greater community and region and creating opportunities for the public to get involved through conservation activities geared toward protecting and improving Galveston Bay.
In 2018, the Galveston Bay staff reached over 2,000 people with presentations. The staff also toured the Bay with 30 Spanish-language bloggers and armed 174 Report Card Champions with tools to become conservation leaders.
"Our hope is that creating avenues for community conservation will lead to action for the preservation and conservation of Galveston Bay," said T'Noya Thompson, Report Card Coordinator.
One of the primary goals for 2019 is to turn awareness into action. The 2018 Report Card showed improvements in water quality, toxics in sediment and oil spills, with the number of oil spills continuously decreasing since 2003. However, due to the decreasing blue crab population, the "wildlife" category lowered from a C to a D. In an effort to combat the decline in blue crab population, Galveston Bay Foundation and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) hosted an abandoned crab trap removal event this month in Anahuac and Bolivar. Removing these traps creates a cleaner bay, allows ecologically and economically important blue crab to re-populate, reduces "ghost fishing" and protects larger animals like dolphins from becoming entangled in trap lines.
Community members can get involved through the various clean-up efforts held throughout the year including a Rivers, Lakes, Bays and Bayous Trash Bash hosted by Galveston Bay Foundation on March 30, 2019 where hundreds of volunteers will collect thousands of pounds of trash along the Armand Bayou waterway and banks. Additionally, Galveston Bay Foundation will host its annual Marsh Mania event on April 13, 2019 where volunteers will plant marsh grass to help restore Galveston Bay shorelines. All of these actions make a positive impact on Galveston Bay.
The Report Card encourages the public to contribute to the improvement of the health of the Bay on a daily basis through conservation activities such as properly disposing of pet waste, reducing plastic usage by utilizing reusable bags and straws, and installing rain barrels to conserve water. Research for the 2019 Galveston Bay Report Card is currently underway. The Galveston Bay Foundation, Houston Endowment and HARC hope to continue the study in an effort to provide communities with a better understanding of the health of Galveston Bay, a valuable economic and environmental entity.
About Galveston Bay Foundation
The mission of the Galveston Bay Foundation is to preserve, protect and enhance the natural resources of the Galveston Bay estuarine system and its tributaries for present users and for posterity. Its programs in advocacy, conservation, education and research strive to ensure that Galveston Bay remains a beautiful and productive place for generations to come. Established in 1987, the Galveston Bay Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, contact the Foundation at (281) 332-3381, www.galvbay.org visit, or follow on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Houston Advanced Research Center
HARC is a nonprofit research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air, and water issues to people seeking scientific answers. Its research activities support the implementation of policies and technologies that promote sustainability based on scientific principles. HARC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization building a sustainable future in which people thrive and nature flourishes. For more information, contact HARC at (281) 364-6000 or visit www.HARCresearch.org. You can also connect with HARC via Facebook or Twitter. Like or follow @HARCresearch.