HOUSTON, Aug. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Galveston Bay Foundation and the Houston Advanced Research Center have released the second annual Galveston Bay Report Card, an easy-to-understand grading system to communicate the health of the Bay to the public.
The results of the 2016 scientific study assign an overall grade of "C" to the health of the Bay, indicating an ecosystem facing monumental issues, foremost among them, pollution, habitat acreage declines, impacts of climate change, and the emerging problem of invasive species. In spite of this, it is also proof of the Bay's resilience. The full and detailed report can be accessed at www.galvbaygrade.org.
"The Galveston Bay Report Card was undertaken to identify the most immediate needs of this vital natural resource to both preserve its health and to inform and empower people to take action to protect the Bay and its watershed for future generations," said Galveston Bay Foundation President Bob Stokes.
The 2016 Galveston Bay Report Card cites 19 indicators impacting the Bay, grouped into six critical issues. The grades in each category were scientifically determined to be as follows, on a scale from "A" to "F":
- Water Quality: This category received the highest grade. Overall, the Bay improved from a previous grade of B to an A on the 2016 Report Card;
- Wildlife: Galveston Bay scored a B for invasive species, as there have been no reports of long-term established invasive species in the Bay;
- Coastal Change: While the overall grade remained a C, it should be noted that the sub-category of "Sea Level Rise" was determined to be an F;
- Human Health Risks: The Bay remained a C for human health risks.
- Pollution Events and Sources: Pollution Events and Sources improved from a D to a C.
- Habitat: An overall grade of D was assigned to this category and the sub-category of oyster reefs received an incomplete grade as the full extent of oyster reef losses will remain uncertain until new oyster reef data can be evaluated.
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SOURCE The Galveston Bay Foundation