Understanding estuaries and the role of freshwater inflows is introduced. Also, the challenges estuaries face due to changing inflows is addressed as well as calls for action.
This section provides background information on Freshwater Inflow including the approach of Freshwater Inflow, some current decision support tools, and the case studies area used.
Choosing the resource to protect first is very necessary because it will define the estuarine study area, the public interest’s and what they are willing to protect, the collection of data, as well as the policies that can be passed based on applicable Acts. This section reviews those estuarine resources valued by humans.
GIS based maps can provide us with a better understand of estuarine dynamics including physical components like hydrology, sediments, climate and biology that make up a coastal environment and how it changes over time.
Analyzing changes in freshwater inflow and the responses from other environmental components in estuarine ecosystems can provide the information necessary to create flow standards. The general methods to determine flow standards are management strategies that can be described and repeated.
This method provides a guide to understanding the relationship between freshwater inflow and estuaries by linking estuarine ecosystem resources to estuarine condition and then estuarine condition to freshwater inflows.
The case studies presented represent and evaluation of studies done on estuaries along the Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico by Basin and Bay Expert Science Teams.
This section covers ecosystem-based management strategies. Create an ecosystem-based management strategy for freshwater inflows requires the integration of large data sets, historic and current information, cooperation from multiple agencies, studies determining the freshwater inflow regime, policy considerations, public outreach, and a plan of how to implement the strategy.
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