The Nonpoint Source Pollution Program is a joint project of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that sets management measures for states to control polluted runoff. The runoff comes from six main sources: forestry, agriculture, urban areas, marinas, shoreline and stream channel modification, and wetlands and vegetated shorelines, or riparian areas.
Most Texas coastal cities are under pressure to comply with water quality standards for wastewater and stormwater discharges. Treatment wetlands slow down fast-moving stormwater, encouraging sediment fallout, filtering the slowed waters, and transforming pollutants through biogeochemical processes unique to wetlands. As a result, waters re-entering bay or bayou systems are cleaner.
The Land Office works with local communities to acquire funding from NOAA and the EPA for Nonpoint Source Pollution projects when funding is available. The Land Office also works with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) in a joint effort to develop, fund, and implement projects.
Search for completed and current NPS Projects
Mad Island Restoration
The Land Office has contracted with Texas R.I.C.E. to restore wetlands and treat nonpoint source pollution at the Nature Conservancy's Mad Island Preserve in Matagorda County. This will be the first part of a multi-year effort to restore the natural hydrology and species composition of Mad Island Marsh. Structures will be installed to redirect runoff to the restored prairie and prevent it from flowing into the marsh. This will allow contaminants to be filtered from the runoff before it reaches the marsh. Texas R.I.C.E. will also create a 40-acre wetland and restore a 60-acre abandoned agriculture field to a native grassland prairie.
Wetland Design Manual
The Land Office has contracted with Texas Cooperative Extension to develop a manual for creating stormwater treatment wetlands for the Texas Gulf Coast. It provides solutions to design and construction problems, a selection of appropriate treatment wetland characteristics, and criteria for developing a plan and budget for a project. See the manual
Dickinson Bayou Restoration
Texas Cooperative Extension (TCE) has established the Dickinson Bayou Restoration Work Group to develop a wetland restoration plan for Dickinson Bayou. This includes community outreach regarding NPS pollution by focusing on human impacts to wetlands, how wetlands improve water quality, and preserving and enhancing wetlands. A wetland restoration project at Paul Hopkins Park in central Dickinson is part of the plan. See the report