Coastal streams carry rainwater collected from the surrounding watershed downstream to bays and the Gulf of Mexico. As the rainwater flows over pavement, buildings, vegetation, and through soil, it collects organic material and chemical pollutants that affect coastal water quality. Monitoring of creek conditions can help us to understand and locate the sources of water quality problems and identify potential solutions.
Seventeen coastal creeks are profiled in this section. Water quality ratings for each are given on a calendar year basis and are determined by comparing sampled values of selected water quality indicators to regulatory standards. The indicators compared are those used by environmental regulators to assess stream health. These are: total nitrogen, total phosphorus, chlorophyll a, and dissolved oxygen saturation. Also shown on the Creek Conditions Reports are additional measures of environmental health related to water quality.