City supports Galveston Bay initiative

In Friendswood by Reporter NewsLeave a Comment

By Nicole Jones

A Galveston Bay preservation initiative gained a new partner.

Friendswood City Council in November unanimously approved a resolution supporting the Galveston Bay Estuary Program, a multi-agency initiative aimed at protected the overall health of the Galveston Bay watershed.

“The program is not intended to add a layer of environmental regulation,” Friendswood City Manager Morad Kabiri says, “but emphasizes what the city is already obligated to follow.”

The Galveston Bay Estuary Program is one of two estuary programs in Texas and is among 28 National Estuary Programs in the U.S. A non-regulatory program administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the program takes a collaborative approach among local, state and federal entities. Agencies involved include the Houston Galveston Area Council and the Gulf Coast Authority.

“In essence, any discharges whether sanitary or storm sewer should not illicit to where it pollutes receiving streams,” Kabiri said. “This does not in any way, shape or form inhibit any drainage projects along Clear Creek or in the City of Friendswood.”

The Galveston Bay watershed recently received a “C” grade from the environmental group Galveston Bay Foundation and Houston Advanced Research Center; the accompanying report detailed the loss of freshwater wetlands and mentioned habitat loss and an oil spill last year.

The 11th State of the Bay Symposium is scheduled Jan. 22-23 at Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center. Stakeholders interact and share their policy and management successes at this event, where the latest monitoring and research findings are announced.

For more information on the symposium or the program, visit gbep.texas.gov.

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