How does the pollution of water resources affect Texans?

1 Answer
Apr 8, 2016

The pollution of water resources affects Texans dramatically, particularly those on the East coast of the state.


Texas is the biggest state in the 48 contiguous states (Alaska is larger). To better understand how the pollution of water resources affects Texans lets take a look at a map of the state (Geography time!):

enter image source here
Courtesy of: TUBS (Wikipedia user)
Obtained from: (Creative Commons)

enter image source here
Imagery courtesy of: Google Maps;
Screenshot and cropping (I assume you don't want to know how many unread emails I have) are my own work

Now we see that the entire region from Louisiana in the east-northeast and Mexico in the south-southwest borders the Gulf Coast. As with most coastal communities in the Gulf region, this part of Texas is dependent on tourism (water sports, hotels, and beach goers) and fishing to sustain the local economy.

The influence of water pollution, is exemplified, most poignantly though the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (the largest marine oil spill). The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill occurred on April 20, 2010 when an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig resulted in the sinking of the rig and what is called a "subsea blowout". A subsea blowout occurs when an underwater oil well breaks and leaks uncontrollably.

Like this...

enter image source here
Courtesy of: of John Trost (b. 1868- d. 1944)
Obtained from: (Public Domain)

...only underwater

The Deepwater Horizon well leaked for 87 days. Although the regions impacted the most from this spill were Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida the oil did wash up on Texas shores. Aromatic hydrocarbons (such as these) are highly toxic to aquatic life such as fish, mammals (whales, dolphins), birds, and sea turtles. The death the aquatic life in the region resulted in reduced fish populations and restrictions on where fishermen could cast their nets (due to sustainability efforts and public health concerns). The scarcity of fish coupled with the restrictions placed on fishermen adversely affected the fishing industry not only in Eastern Texas but in the entire Gulf region.

The tourism industry was also suffered due to the clean up efforts, the poor light in which the region was portrayed by the media, and safety restrictions put in place on water sports such as snorkeling and SCUBA diving. These factors thwarted potential vacationers.

The harm that was brought upon the local economy resulted in a dramatic rise in unemployment rates and homeless populations.

So all that to be said, Texas, East Texas specifically is highly dependent on the Gulf Coast waters and is adversely affected by pollution to it waters.

I hope this helped!