Laguna Madre Estuary
The Laguna Madre Estuary is located along the lower coast of Texas, with it's southernmost portion extending near to the Texas-Mexico border. The Laguna Madre is a unique hypersaline lagoon. It is the only one in the nation and one of only a handful that exist worldwide. The estuary spans 280,910 acres and has an average depth of four and a half feet. The estuary is divided into an upper and lower estuary by a coastal land mass known as Saltillo Flats, but more commonly referred to as the Landcut. Baffin Bay in the Upper Laguna and South Bay in the Lower Laguna are major bays within the estuary. The Lower Laguna Madre is connected to the Gulf of Mexico via the Port Mansfield Channel and Brazos-Santiago Pass. Typically, this estuary receives 743,000 acre-feet of freshwater inflow per year from it's major contributing sources, San Fernando Creek through Baffin Bay in the Upper Laguna Madre and the Arroyo Colorado in the Lower Laguna Madre, as well as from surrounding coastal watersheds. The estuary is bordered by Nueces, Kleburg, Kenedy, Willacy, and Cameron counties and is located within the boundaries of two Regional Water Planning Groups, including Region N (Coastal Bend) and Region M (Rio Grande Region).
Selected Laguna Madre Estuary Studies
- Schoenbaechler, C., C.G. Guthrie, J. Matsumoto, and Q. Lu. 2011. TxBLEND Model Calibration and Validation for the Laguna Madre Estuary. October 27, 2011. Texas Water Development Board, Austin, Texas. 60 pp.
- Schoenbaechler, C., C.G. Guthrie, and Q. Lu. 2011. Coastal Hydrology for the Laguna Madre Estuary, with Emphasis on the Lower Laguna Madre. September 21, 2011. Texas Water Development Board, Austin, Texas. 29 pp.
- Schoenbaechler, C., C.G. Guthrie, and Q. Lu. 2011. Coastal Hydrology for the Laguna Madre Estuary, with Emphasis on the Upper Laguna Madre. September 21, 2011. Texas Water Development Board, Austin, Texas. 28 pp.
- Tolan, J.M., W.Y. Lee, G. Chen, and D. Buzan. 2004. Freshwater inflow recommendation for the Laguna Madre Estuary System. Texas Parks and Wildlife, Austin, Tx. 114pp.
- TDWR. 1983. Laguna Madre Estuary: A study of the influence of freshwater inflows. LP-182. Texas Department of Water Resources, Austin, Tx. 286pp.