Local News

Sep 17, 2013 7:08 PM

Rain Needed to Reduce High Salinity Levels

CORPUS CHRISTI - Recent rains are good for local lawns and plants. However, research specialist, Larry Lloyd at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi campus, says the gulf and sea creatures that live in it, still need a bigger drink, in order to help their development in area bays.

"Right now, we're getting a lot of rain, as soon as it rains people think oh, no problem, drought solved," Lloyd said.

However, even with the recent rainfall and even flooding in different areas of town, Lloyd says even more rain is needed to change salinity levels for sea life.

"Our bays will get hyper saline during droughts and the salinity is what's going to start killing off these fish and shrimp," he added.

Lloyd says for ideal fish and shrimp productivity, salinity levels need to be about 28 parts per thousand. Right now, they are at 41 parts per thousand even after all the recent rainfall.

He says the average ocean salinity is 35 parts per thousand and when salinity levels are high it can be devastating for marine development.

"What we need is juvenile shrimp and juvenile fish to be healthy and alive and surviving and not dying in early phases," Lloyd said.

If marine life is not able to flourish that would have a significant impact on commercial fishing and recreational fishing that brings millions of dollars to our area.

More rain would be helpful, Lloyd says but the real solution depends on where the drops fall.

"What we need is more rain up the watershed, that way all the freshwater drains into our reservoirs and we can allow pass through for that water into the bays," Lloyd added.

As stormy weather and rain roll in, Lloyd says it's best if it falls more northwest near San Antonio rather than just becoming runoff into the bays.

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