Dr. Mike Wetz Honored for Baffin Bay Work
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — HRI Chair for Coastal Ecosystem Processes Dr. Mike Wetz was honored by Texas Sea Grant Tuesday, April 9, with their Research to Application award at their 2019 Coastal and Science Research at Work for Texans Research Symposium.
The award is given to a Texas Sea Grant-funded investigator whose science and advocacy had impacts at the local, state, and federal levels. Wetz was selected for the positive impact of his research on the management of the Baffin Bay Watershed.
Baffin Bay is considered one of the jewels of the Texas coast because of its tremendous fishing and recreation potential, as well as its positive economic impact on the surrounding communities. Wetz became involved the Baffin Bay Watershed management project seven years ago, when poor environmental indicators led residents to become concerned about the health of Baffin Bay and began water quality testing as a citizen science initiative. It has since been discovered that Baffin Bay and its watershed streams exceed Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s screening levels for chlorophyll, further evidence of nutrient pollution, and the streams are considered impaired for several water quality variables. As a result of these efforts, a stakeholder group was formed to determine how to tackle issues in Baffin Bay and the Watershed Monitoring and Management Plan crafted by the group has been included in the state's Coastal Resiliency Master Plan. Wetz co-chairs that group.