Water rights advocacy efforts – Over the years, MBF has been a party to water rights permit administrative law hearings and private legal actions regarding water rights in the Colorado River system. As a result of these efforts, a salinity goal for Matagorda Bay was written into a major water rights permit, the first of its kind on the Texas coast.
The Aransas Project (TAP) – As a charter member of TAP, MBF supported the efforts to obtain freshwater inflow necessary to keep the endangered whooping cranes and San Antonio Bay alive during drought conditions. This agreement gives us hope that a similar agreement may be possible to negotiate with the Lower
Parker’s Cut - Over the years, MBF has studied reopening of Parker’s Cut and now believes action should be initiated, hopefully with many other parties, to evaluate the physical and biological factors relevant to this important project.
Formosa Plastics - Decades ago, Formosa Plastics was one of the worst performing industries on the Texas Coast. Along with the Calhoun County Resource Watch and others, the Matagorda Bay Foundation joined in attempts to cause Formosa to become a better corporate citizen. Through various agreements that have been negotiated, primarily between Jim Blackburn (current President of MBF) and Formosa, substantial progress has been made in the performance of Formosa. Today, Formosa is much better, although currently an issue has emerged about plastics pellets being blown from loading facilities at the plant into the bay and stormwater outfalls. This issue is currently being addressed by Formosa and is also the subject of litigation by others (not MBF).
Palacios Pavilion Community Reef and Wetland Project – MBF collaborated with local volunteers, 4-H, Texas Sea Grant, Texas GLO, TPWD, Matagorda County, Palacios Seawall Commission and members of the Galveston Bay Texas Master Naturalists to “build” an oyster reef and wetland next to the new Palacios Education Pavilion. The reef is constructed of >200 sacks of oyster shell and topped with several cubic yards of loose shell. The nearshore area, adjacent to the new reef, was planted with smooth cordgrass to accelerate the creation of a new wetland. The newly constructed reef and wetland will provide habitat for estuarine organisms and supplement marine science education efforts at the facility.
Redfish and Salt Lakes – MBF is currently working with Texas Sea Grant, a local homeowners association from Port Alto, TX, the Coastal Conservation Association, TAMU, Texas General Land Office, Freese and Nichols Engineering and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on a shoreline erosion issue that threatens the integrity of two secondary bays located at the mouth of Carancahua Bay in Calhoun county.
Oliver Point – The Oliver Point habitat complex is located approximately 3 miles SSW of Palacios, Texas at the confluence of Tres Palacios and Matagorda Bays. Prior to 2003, the area was characterized by a large, open-water oyster reef, and coastal wetland complexes and shell ridge habitats at Oliver Point, and Coon Island Bay. Hurricane Claudette inflicted significant damage to the oyster reef, and accelerated erosion and declines in quantity and quality of remaining habitat at Oliver Point and Coon Island Bay. MBF is partnering with USFWS to initiate development of a restoration plan for Oliver Point and Coon Island Bay habitats.
Conservation Planning – MBF is moving forward with efforts to develop a comprehensive, stakeholder driven conservation plan for the region. A scientific evaluation and review of bay resources – a status of the bay study – is critical to understanding how these estuaries function. We are currently seeking funding sources/donations to help pay for this important study.