Scientists tell us that anything that affects the hypersalinity, structure, or clarity of the bay may affect the Laguna Madre. In fact, the dredging of ship channels and the intercoastal waterway affects all three of these conditions. Salinity has been reduced by the intrustion of seawater through additional opening to the Gulf. The clairty of the bay is reduced by the yearly dredging that is required to keep the channels open. And finally, the number cause of wetland loss on the shore of the Laguna Madre is due to the disposal of the dredged material onto adjacent wetlands.
All of this is damaging the bay's resources. One study has shown that the lower salinity of the bay has reduced shoal grass, the principal food source of the Redhead Duck. Other studies reveal a loss of 48 square kilometers of tidal flat and the loss of large areas of seagrass beds due to dredging. Clarity is also reduced by the runoff from three major agricultural drains that release a steady influx of pesticides, fertilizers, trash and other pollutants into the Laguna Madre.
The Lower Laguna Madre Foundation is a non-profit organization that encourages balanced economic use and conservation of the Lower Laguna Madre. The foundation is committed to finding solutions to these and other problems affecting the bay.