Matagorda Basin

The Lavaca River and one of its tributaries, Rocky Creek, are part of the larger Matagorda Bay watershed along the Texas Gulf Coast. The Above Tidal portion of the Lavaca River is currently listed by the state as impaired due to elevated bacteria levels. The tributary Rocky Creek, which is a perennial freshwater stream, is also listed as impaired because of elevated bacteria levels.

Due to the bacteria impairment, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is currently working with the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) and local stakeholders to develop a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the watershed. A TMDL is a scientifically determined “budget” that defines how much of a particular pollutant a water body can handle and still meet water quality standards. The TMDL is also a document that describes this budget and allocates the pollutant load.

TWRI along with local stakeholders are developing watershed-based strategies that reduce bacterial pollution and improve water quality in the Lavaca River and Rocky Creek. Together, they are developing a watershed protection plan (WPP). The WPP will

  • identify potential sources of water quality impairments and concerns,
  • identify feasible voluntary management measures to reduce pollutant loads reaching water bodies,
  • develop milestones and a schedule for implementation, and
  • develop measurable progress indicators.

TWRI and stakeholders are also developing a TMDL implementation-plan (I-Plan) alongside the WPP. The I-Plan is a document that describes how the TMDL will be achieved and is specific to the bacteria impairment identified in the TMDL.

Lavaca River

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