Introduction to the Highland Bayou Coastal Basin
The Highland Bayou Coastal Basin refers to an area of bayous and waterways in southern mainland Galveston County. The basin covers almost 23-square miles and many of its waterways are influenced by the tides. Urbanized communities within the basin include Texas City, La Marque, Hitchcock, and Bayou Vista. Around these communities are sizable areas of industrial activity, agriculture, rangeland, and recreational areas, as well as extensive estuaries, marshes, and coastal prairies.
The basin discharges into the Galveston Bay system via several bayous: Highland, Marchand, Moses, Basford, and the Carancahua Bayous. Highland Bayou is the largest of these. The receiving waters of Galveston Bay and West Bay are impaired from elevated levels of bacteria in oyster-producing waters. Highland and Marchand Bayous are listed on the 2014 303(d) list for decreased levels of dissolved oxygen and for elevated levels of bacteria. The Diversion Canal, Moses Bayou and the Unnamed Tributary (Bayou Pierre) are all on the 303(d) list for elevated levels of bacteria. This project is designed to provide a coordinated framework for prioritizing protection and restoration strategies guided by environmental data.