Habitat Management History of the Nueces Estuary, Texas, USA

Erin M. Hill, Brien A Nicolau, Paul V. Zimba


Reservoir impoundments in the Nueces watershed (Texas, USA) have reduced Nueces River flows to the coast by more than 50% since the 1980s. Reductions in freshwater inflows prompted state and local managers, along with scientists, to embark on a 3-decade process of ecosystem-based restoration and habitat improvement in the Nueces Estuary. Current management efforts in the estuary have increased freshwater flow to the Rincon Bayou and habitat has been protected from land acquisition in the Nueces Delta. Restoring freshwater flow and acquiring land in the Nueces Delta was not easily accomplished but has been successful through the efforts of federal, state, local agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. This paper also describes mitigation activities that have taken place in the Nueces Estuary.


: coastal conservation, habitat sustainability, freshwater inflow, ecosystem-based management

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Texas Water Journal

The Texas Water Journal is an online, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the timely consideration of Texas water resources management, research, and policy issues from a multidisciplinary perspective that integrates science, engineering, law, planning, and other disciplines. It also provides updates on key state legislation and policy changes by Texas administrative agencies. The journal is published by the Texas Water Journal, a nonprofit organization, in cooperation with the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife.

ISSN 2160-5319
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