Seagrasses in Christmas Bay

If you have ever experienced a terrific day fishing it is a good guess that 1 of one’s fish can have expended A part of its youth within a seagrass bed. Seagrass meadows deliver required nursery locations For most important fish species. They are really productive habitats which give foodstuff and shelter for juvenile fish species, crabs, and shrimp, Hence the reduction of such habitats build sizeable concern amid many source agencies.

Seagrass within the Galveston Bay

However, with the late 1970’s, seagrass inside the Galveston Bay elaborate had Pretty much completely disappeared resulting from dredge-and-fill things to do, boat site visitors, subsidence, erosion, storms, and wastewater discharges. Considering the fact that Christmas Bay is amongst the most productive and least disturbed minor bays within the Galveston Bay sophisticated , it became a precedence conservation internet site for state resource management plans. By 1988 Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) and the overall Land Office selected Christmas Bay an official Point out Coastal Protect and Point out Scientific Area. However, in 1989 an intensive plant survey approximated that only seven-hundred acres of submerged aquatic vegetation nevertheless existed in Galveston Bay, with around 386 acres in Xmas Bay and the rest alongside Trinity Bay.
Seagrass in Christmas and Drum Bay also appears to become balanced. Fragmentation of seagrass beds could possibly be regarded an Original stage in seagrass decrease and seagrass patches are usually subject to impacts from fetch or mechanical disturbance which could lead for their total loss inside a bay process. Fragmentation of the mixed shoalgrass and clovergrass beds wasn’t observed from the 2005 aerial pictures nor was a loss of seagrass. This implies that seagrass continue to retains some relative security in Xmas Bay within the “human” factors explained in 1998 (such as the absence of dredging, waterfront advancement, and stage supply and non-position resource discharges in the bays) and that juvenile fish can have a secure destination to increase For some time to come back.

TPWD executed a mapping job

In 1998 TPWD executed a mapping undertaking to ascertain the status of seagrass in Drum and Christmas Bay employing aerial photography and geographic facts technique (GIS) program. At that time, seagrass in Christmas and Drum Bay lined close to 424 acres and that Christmas Bay has 4 with the five seagrass species found in Texas. Most frequently located are combined shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) and clover grass (Halophila englemanni) beds, with widgeon grass (Ruppia maritima) getting to be plentiful in the spring and drop and interspersed patches of turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum) alongside the south shore. The existence of Thalassia in Xmas Bay is important given that the nearest known population is 150 miles south in Aransas Bay close to Rockport. To match the present status of seagrass in Xmas and Drum Bay While using the past research, new aerial photos had been taken in December 2005 and in contrast While using the 1998 photos. The exact same aerial photographer from 1998 ,the exact same flight program and methodology have been utilized to do away with bias. The images were groundtruthed (i.e., seagrass signatures within the aerial images had been in comparison to their real Actual physical place) and in contrast with the more mature maps and aerial fishing gear

The ninety two GPS factors

Ground truthing consisted of finding the ninety two GPS details Utilized in the previous research and having 3 four-inch core samples at Every single site to determine seagrass species present. Seagrass classification at Every web-site was determined by analyzing which core samples contained by far the most species of seagrass; as an example if two with the a few core samples ended up bare and also the 3rd contained shoalgrass, that website was categorized as shoalgrass. The aerial pictures were being then when compared with GIS maps from 1998 to evaluate seagrass populace traits in Xmas Bay over the past six several years; such as measuring changes in acreage, patchiness, and no matter if a shift in distribution and species composition has occurred.
Seagrass acreage in just Xmas and Drum Bay seems to get ongoing to boost a little bit, except for widgeongrass. The aerial photos from 2005 show a complete acreage for Christmas and Drum Bay of 436.six acres, and that is a slight raise within the 424 acres from the 1998 and also the 386 acres in 1989. Seagrass still mainly consisted of blended beds of shoalgrass and clovergrass, with shoalgrass getting essentially the most ample.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *