Gulf of Mexico

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USGS researchers study the interaction of water, sediment, nutrients, and organisms and their resulting positive (or negative) effects on the environment and human activities.  By measuring or modeling factors such as the level of oxygen and clarity of water, the level of nutrients, pollutants and/or contaminants, and the quantity, timing, and distribution of freshwater flows, researchers can assess impacts such as changes in salinity and sediment, nuisance or harmful algal blooms, improvement in fisheries habitat, or loss of submerged aquatic vegetation.

Filter Total Items: 7
Date published: April 13, 2020
Status: Active

Water Quality in Lake Pontchartrain and western Mississippi Sound during openings of Bonnet Carré Spillway

The Bonnet Carré Spillway, located about 28 miles northwest of New Orleans, Louisiana, was constructed in the early 1930s as part of an integrated flood-control structure for the lower Mississippi River Plain. The spillway is designed to divert water from the Mississippi River into Lake Pontchartrain, thus relieving pressure on levees downstream. Opening of the spillway occurs when measured...

Date published: March 4, 2019
Status: Active

SPARROW modeling: Estimating nutrient, sediment, and dissolved solids transport

SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes) models estimate the amount of a contaminant transported from inland watersheds to larger water bodies by linking monitoring data with information on watershed characteristics and contaminant sources.  Interactive, online SPARROW mapping tools allow for easy access to explore relations between human activities, natural processes...

Date published: May 29, 2018
Status: Active

Water Quality Monitoring at Offshore Artificial Reefs

USGS Texas Water Science Center scientists are collecting physical and chemical water properties at selected Texas artificial reefs to provide the initial foundation to establish the status and long-term trends in the environment and information essential for sound management decisions and long-term planning.

Contacts: Michael Lee
Date published: May 29, 2018
Status: Active

Nutrient and Sediment Variability in the Lower San Jacinto River

The San Jacinto River is the second largest inflow into Galveston Bay. The USGS Texas Water Science Center collects water-quality samples in the lower reaches of the San Jacinto River over a range of hydrologic conditions to improve our understanding of the variability of nutrient and sediment concentrations in freshwater inflows from the San Jacinto River into Galveston Bay. 

Contacts: Zulimar Lucena
Date published: May 29, 2018
Status: Active

Nutrient and Sediment Monitoring in Inflows to Texas Bays and Estuaries

The USGS Texas Water Science Center is evaluating the variability of nutrient and sediment concentrations and loads entering Texas bays and estuaries across a range of hydrologic conditions in Galveston Bay (inflow from the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers), Matagordo Bay (inflow from the Colorado River), San Antonio Bay (inflow from the Guadalupe River), and Nueces Bay (inflow from Nueces River...

Date published: May 29, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Lowlands Regional Groundwater Availability Study

USGS is undertaking a 5-year study to assess groundwater availability for the aquifers proximal to the Gulf of Mexico from the Texas-Mexico border through the panhandle of Florida, known as the Coastal Lowlands Aquifer System (CLAS). This study is one of several within the Regional Groundwater Availability Studies of the ...

Date published: January 30, 2017
Status: Active

Streamflow Alteration Assessments to Support Bay and Estuary Restoration in Gulf States

Human alteration of waterways has impacted the minimum and maximum streamflows in more than 86% of monitored streams nationally and may be the primary cause for ecological impairment in river and stream ecosystems. Restoration of freshwater inflows can positively affect shellfish, fisheries, habitat, and water quality in streams, rivers, and estuaries. Increasingly, state and local decision-...