Water quality in the Dickinson Bayou watershed (Texas, Gulf of Mexico) and health issues. Academic Article uri icon


  • The Dickinson Bayou watershed (near Houston, Texas, Gulf of Mexico) provides habitat for numerous coastally influenced communities of wildlife, including scores of birds and fish. Encroaching development and impervious surfaces are altering the habitat and degrading water quality. Herein we have defined the current health of the bayou using water quality data collected between 2000 and 2006. Elevated bacteria (fecal coliform, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus) and depressed dissolved oxygen concentrations (often <3mgl(-1)) are the two major impairments to this ecosystem. While nutrient ratios indicate primary productivity may be nitrogen limited, concerns of eutrophication persist because the bayou has a low intrinsic flushing rate. Consistent with this is the magnitude of algal blooms (ca. 100microg chll(-1)) which often occur in spring/summer. The findings of this study will assist with the understanding of the influence of urban development on small watersheds.

published proceedings

  • Mar Pollut Bull

author list (cited authors)

  • Quigg, A., Broach, L., Denton, W., & Miranda, R.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Quigg, Antonietta||Broach, Linda||Denton, Winston||Miranda, Roger

publication date

  • January 2009