Status of Wetlands in the Houston-Galveston Region
The Texas Gulf Coast is host to an amazing variety and quantity of wetlands. These wetlands play a valuable role in rainwater storage capacity, pollutant filtration, natural hazard mitigation, and erosion control as well as provide recreation to area residents and habitat to native wildlife. Wetlands are a valuable natural resource both economically and ecologically, however pressures on wetlands for conversion into urban and suburban development in and around the Houston-Galveston region are increasing.
The objective of the federal No Net Loss policy is to ensure that wetland functions and values impacted or lost through development are replaced by the creation and restoration of similar wetland habitats and functionality. Section 404 of the Clean Water Act provides the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers the authority to regulate wetland loss in the US. However, many wetlands in the Houston-Galveston region fall outside the 100-year floodplain are often not under Section 404 federal jurisdiction.
Urban sprawl and development in the Houston-Galveston region have surpassed agriculture as the primary causes of wetland loss in our area. Click on the links at the top to learn more about our wetland story.