Each of the 28 National Estuary Programs were charged with developing and implementing a comprehensive conservation and management plan (CCMP) that establishes priorities for activities, research, and funding for the estuary. The CCMP serves as a blueprint to guide future decisions and addresses a wide range of environmental protection issues, including:
- water quality,
- fish and wildlife,
- land use, and
- introduced species.
Each CCMP is based on a scientific characterization of the estuary and is developed and approved by a broad coalition of stakeholders. The CCMP for Galveston Bay is called The Galveston Bay Plan.
Area stakeholders developed The Galveston Bay Plan (The Plan) to ensure long-term preservation of the bay’s health. The Galveston Bay Council, a 41-member advisory committee to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, oversees The Plan’s implementation.
The Plan was approved by the governor of Texas and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1995. It was designed to be implemented over a 20-year period with evaluations every five years.
See more information on The Plan or get a copy.
By 2005, progress had been made on all 82 actions originally identified in The Plan. Inevitably, however, funding limitations, population growth, changes as environmental regulatory programs progressed, and new issues had emerged over time. Charting the Course to 2015: Galveston Bay Strategic Action Plan (SAP), was created not to replace The Plan, but to help focus and guide its implementation up to 2015.
The SAP, published in 2007, had three sections that highlighted the priority focus areas identified during a series of stakeholder meetings held in 2005 and 2006:
- ecosystem and human health,
- public participation and education, and
- monitoring and research.
In each of the priority focus areas, the issues of greatest concern were characterized and a series of associated goals and objectives were identified. The goals and objectives were designed to guide Estuary Program partners as they planned, funded, and implemented policies and programs.
To continue protection and conservation of the estuary, a revision to The Plan is now under way. Efforts to revise The Plan have focused on identifying new issues facing Galveston Bay that were not addressed by The Plan or previous updates, and present them in an easily accessible format. The draft revision has been developed with stakeholder input and will be released pending final approval.
Visit the 2nd Edition website for more information.