Galveston Bay's 2019 report card following Hurricane Harvey

Galveston Bay Foundation and Houston Advanced Research Center presented the overall health of Galveston Bay.

Every year, new challenges arise in Galveston Bay--whether it's floods, storms, oil spills, fishery closures and habitat loss.

HARC Research Scientist Dr. Erin Kinney said this is the first report after the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey. Galveston Bay system remained resilient and earned a "C" for the fifth straight year.

"Even in the face of a major challenge like Harvey, the bay system, overall, is able to support itself and all the different areas of the bay," said Kinney.

She said that includes habitat, fish and bird populations, water quality and bacteria.

Kinney said the bay can recover from challenges if the environment can remain stable.

"But, when we lose a keystone factor, like habitat, we can start to see domino effects, where fish and birds and water quality don't recover as quickly without abundant healthy habitat to support them," said Kinney.

The report stemmed from people wanting to know if it's safe to swim in the bay, or swim in bayous, how bird and fish populations were bearing and what's happening with water quality.

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