Water Monitoring Team

What is the Water Monitoring Team?

GBF’s Water Monitoring Team is filled with people like you, citizens who care about Galveston Bay’s waters and are working to help protect it. Trained volunteers conduct monthly water quality sampling at specific locations around Galveston Bay. These volunteers serve as advocates for the Bay and connect their community to local water quality concerns.

Their efforts provide data that helps us promote clean water for everyone to enjoy. It allows us to:

  • Piece together a complete picture of the health of Galveston Bay
  • Screen for potential problems
  • Create baseline understanding of water quality patterns and trends
  • Educate both local decision makers and the public on water quality concerns
  • Inform community behavior and management practices around our region

How Can I View the Data?

Data collected by the Water Monitoring Team (WMT) is displayed publicly on and can be downloaded from the Gulf of Mexico Citizen Science Data Portal. Recent bacteria concentrations collected by the WMT can be viewed on GBF’s Bacteria Results page. You can also access these pages by clicking the buttons below.

Bacteria Results             Citizen Science Data Portal

 

Click here to view the summary of Galveston Bay water quality for the past year.

Interested in the water quality for a specific site? Scroll down to the map below and select the site to download its 2016 data summary.

We encourage the use of these data. However, please do not post these data on your own website, instead link to our webpage (www.galvbay.org/watermonitors). Please notify us if you plan to use these data for research or education projects by emailing waterquality@galvbay.org. Additionally, we ask that you cite our data on any presentations, publications, websites, and other outreach materials, using the following citation: Data used for this report was taken in part from The Galveston Bay Foundation’s Citizen-Science Water Monitoring Team’s dataset, available at www.galvbay.org/watermonitors We also ask that you provide us with a copy of or link to any press releases or outreach materials in which our data is cited. Thank you for helping us acknowledge the work of the many people who have collected and continue to collect these data!

What Does the Water Monitoring Team Measure?

Galveston Bay Foundation’s Water Monitoring Team (WMT) collects water quality data from the shoreline of Galveston Bay and Clear Lake. During sampling, volunteers collect the following information:

  • Air and water temperature
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • pH
  • Salinity
  • Transparency
  • Depth
  • Various field observations (e.g. water color, water odor, present weather)
  • Fecal indicator bacteria (at some sites, click for more information)

These data can be used in various ways, including: trend analysis, baseline establishment, early identification of water quality issues, educational purposes, and to develop or restructure best management practices. These data are NOT used for permit compliance or other regulatory based reasons.

Interested in using this data to answer a local question?

These data are the citizen’s data: it is collected by you and is intended to help you answer questions or concerns about local water quality such as:

  • Is it safe to swim in the water near me?
  • Is water quality in a certain area healthy for fish and shellfish?
  • How has water quality changed over time?
  • How do various factors, such as seasons, storms, and drought, impact water quality?
  • How does water quality change with location and development?

 Email us at waterquality@galvbay.org with any question you may have and we will work with you to determine the answer! 

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Monitoring Sites

The map below indicates the monitoring sites where GBF’s Water Monitors sample. GBF works to maintain regular monitors at these same sites over time, so a long-term data set can be collected throughout the Bay.  When viewing this map keep in mind:

  1. Purple pins indicate monitoring sites that are already being monitored
  2. Blue pins indicate sites that are inactive and need to be filled immediately
  3. Red pins indicate locations that are closed View the map in full page >>

Note that many locations on this map are associated with businesses; restaurants and marinas for example. The use of such locations for water quality monitoring is extremely beneficial, as they allow WMT volunteers to gain access to the highly developed shorelines of Clear Lake and Galveston Bay.

More Information

Becoming a Water Monitor

Resources for City Officials, Marina Managers

Additional Resources

GBF’s Water Monitoring Team is a part of the Texas Stream Team program (TST). TST is a statewide organization that partners with other groups throughout the state who more locally manage, train, and organize volunteers. GBF’s team utilizes the TST protocols and certification process for all of our volunteer monitors. [/su_spoiler]

This project is funded in part by a Texas Coastal Management Program Grant approved by the approved by the Texas Land Commissioner pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA16NOS4190174.

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This project is also supported by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine under award number 2000008125.