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San Antonio Bay
The San Antonio Bay estuarine complex is located on the Texas coast, south of Matagorda Bay and north of Copano-Aransas Bays. San Antonio Bay comprises the majority of the system, which also includes Espirito Santo Bay, Mesquite Bay, Hynes Bay and Guadalupe Bay. Freshwater inflow comes from the San Antonio and Guadalupe Rivers, and Green Lake/Victoria ship channel. Matagorda Island separates the system from the Gulf of Mexico, and water exchange takes place via Pass Cavallo to the north and Cedar Bayou to the south. As a result, there is little direct exchange between San Antonio Bay and Gulf waters.
Much of the land surrounding San Antonio Bay has maintained rural characteristics and supports farming and ranching activities. To the southwest, the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (see link below) provides important habitat for many species.
Coordinates: 28.41° N 96.72° W
Selected Characteristics: (USEPA, 1999)
Surface Area: 531 km2
Drainage Area: 53,100 km2
Average Daily FW Inflow: 116 m3/s
Average Depth: 2.0 m
Average Salinity: 13 ppt
Coastal Wetlands: 271 km2
Submerged Aquatic Vegetation: 65 km2
Armstrong, N.E. 1987. The ecology of open-bay bottoms of Texas: a community profile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 85(7.12). 104 pp.
Britton, J.C. and B. Morton. 1989. Shore Ecology of the Gulf of Mexico. University of Texas Press, Austin. 387 pp.
USEPA, 1999. Ecological condition of estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico. EPA 620-R-98-004. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, Gulf Breeze, Florida. 80 pp.
Texas Parks & Wildlife - Matagorda Island State Park
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
Keywords: Matagorda, Island, San Antonio, Bays, Estuaries
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