Assessing the Risks to Ecosystem Health from Increasing Nitrogen and Phosphorus Levels in Lavaca Bay

Principal Investigator

A recent synthesis of TCEQ water quality data found that areas within Lavaca Bay are
displaying symptoms of nutrient enrichment, including increasing nitrogen, phosphorus, and
chlorophyll (an indicator of phytoplankton/algal biomass) levels, and decreasing dissolved
oxygen. If left unchecked, there is potential for this enrichment to harm the Lavaca Bay
ecosystem. The aim of this project is to assess the sources of, and risks to water quality and
ecosystem health from nutrients in Lavaca Bay. Results will support data-driven management
and stakeholder efforts to address the nutrient issues before they become problematic, protecting
the ecological health of this system.