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The Texas National Coastal Assessment Program 2000-2003: Collaborations and Adaptations

James Simons 1, Brien Nicolau 2, Charles Smith 3, Jennifer Bronson 1, Steven Johnston 4

1 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Resource Protection Division, Corpus Christi, TX
2 Texas A&M University Center for Coastal Studies, Corpus Christi, TX
3Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Resource Protection Division, Austin, TX
4 Galveston Bay Estuary Program, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Webster TX

In 1999, the Gulf of Mexico Program (GMP) sought to establish a regional monitoring program involving the five states that bordered on the Gulf. With the advent of Coastal 2000 (now National Coastal Assessment (NCA)), the GMP adopted Coastal 2000 for its regional monitoring program. In August of 1999, EPA presented its Coastal 2000 proposal to the Texas state resource monitoring agencies. TPWD became the lead agency for the Texas Coastal 2000 program. The program began as a collaboration between TPWD's Coastal Fisheries (CF) and Resource Protection Divisions, with the CF Division's fishery independent monitoring program serving as the basis for station selection. In 2000, 44 stations were successfully sampled. In 2001, at the request of the Galveston Bay Estuary Program (GBEP), support from EPA's Office of Water added nine additional stations in Galveston Bay. The GBEP also began a volunteer field effort that has greatly benefited the program. In 2002 the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program funded the TAMU-CC Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) to collect NCA parameters at 50 stations in their region. Close coordination and cooperation between CCS and TPWD ensured methodological consistency. Support from CBBEP continued in 2003. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Surface Water Quality Monitoring (SWQM) program in Galveston Bay joined TPWD in 2003 to meld the two programs during the summer quarter in which NCA sampling is conducted. This collaboration, although there were challenges, was highly successful, enabling each program to benefit. Currently we are planning the 2004 field season, and exploring a mechanism by which we can share the NCA database with the TCEQ SWQM program. We are also exploring the possibility of expanding the scope of a randomized sampling scheme along the Texas coast.

Keywords: National Coastal Assessment, regional monitoring, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Coastal Fisheries, Resource Protection, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program, Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, Center for Coastal Studies, Surface Water Quality Monitoring

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