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Galveston beaches, water quality getting graded

GALVESTON – Texas A&M University at Galveston researchers have received feedback from more than​​​ 900 islanders as part of an analysis of coastal water quality and beaches.

The findings will be used to create a Galveston Island Report Card that will provide information on water quality, economic activity and community health related to island beaches, and potential coastal hazards.

“What we’re doing with this research is to answer what are the connections between environmental quality, economic activity and public health in the Galveston Island beach area,” said Virginia Greb, a doctoral candidate with the Marine and Coastal Management and Science program. Greb is spearheading the project.

For the project, islanders were asked about beach amenities, the social and ecological environment, what it’s like to visit the beaches, pollution, and any other health risks.

The research team plans to analyze the relationship between water quality and tourist economic activity and identify public health concerns specific to the environment as a resource to residents.

Greb said the team also plans to compile the analysis to help other studies on coastal environments and protect Galveston’s economy and environmental integrity.

The team hopes to launch the Galveston Beach Report Card website by December.