Colorado-Lavaca Estuary (Matagorda Bay)
The Colorado-Lavaca Estuary, or Matagorda Bay system, is located along the upper-mid Texas coast and is the second largest estuary in Texas, with an area of 244,490 acres. The estuary consists of Matagorda Bay and Lavaca Bay, and several smaller bays including Carancahua Bay, Tres Palacios Bay, Keller Bay, Cox Bay, and Turtle Bay. Other key features include the Matagorda Ship Channel and Entrance Channel to the Gulf, Pass Cavallo, and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Typically the estuary receives 3.5 million acre-feet of freshwater inflow from it's major rivers, the Colorado River, Lavaca River, and the Tres Palacios River, as well as from numerous creeks and surrounding coastal watersheds. The estuary is bordered by Matagorda, Jackson, Victoria, and Calhoun counties and is affected by the activities of three regional water planning groups, including Region K (Lower Colorado Region), Region L (South Central Texas Region), and Region P (Lavaca Region).
Selected Colorado-Lavaca Estuary Studies
- Schoenbaechler, C., C.G. Guthrie, and Q. Lu. In Prep. Coastal Hydrology for the Lavaca-Colorado Estuary. Texas Water Development Board, Austin, Texas. 18 pp.
- Schoenbaechler, C., C.G. Guthrie, J. Matsumoto, Q. Lu, and S. Negusse. 2011. TxBLEND Model Calibration and Validation for the Lavaca-Colorado Estuary and East Matagorda Bay. February 14, 2011. Texas Water Development Board, Austin, Texas. 72 pp.
- TDWR. 1980. Lavaca-Tres Palacios Estuary: A study of the influence of freshwater inflows. LP-106. Texas Department of Water Resources, Austin, Tx. 349pp.