Freshwater Inflows, 1

Passport to Texas from Texas parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program

Estuaries act as nurseries for juvenile species of saltwater fish. And freshwater inflows keep estuaries in top form.

Freshwater brings sediments which builds nursery areas. Freshwater also brings nutrients which feed the plants and animals that grow and form the basis for the food web in the estuary.

Former TPW Coastal Studies Team Leader, Dave Buzan, says since the 1950’s we’ve restricted water flow to the gulf by building reservoirs and flood control structures.

Historically we have controlled water because we know we need water for people to drink, for industries, and for agriculture.

Human need has effectively changed Texas from a land of rivers and streams into a land of impounded water, meaning less fresh water reaches our estuaries.

In hindsight, we’re able to see that the more of these reservoirs and flood control structures we’ve built have really reduced our ability to get water to the estuary on a consistent basis.

And when fresh water doesn’t flow consistently into estuaries, the health of these ecosystems as well as the health of a significant segment of our economy suffers the consequences.

We’ll look at that tomorrow.

That’s our show … made possible by the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program…working to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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