The Angelina and Neches River Basin lies in East Texas and extends from the Texas Gulf Coast near Beaumont/Port Arthur upstream to the area northwest of Tyler. The Basin includes all or part of 19 counties that are largely rural in nature. Pine forests, bottomland hardwood forests and pastures dominate the landscape. The cities of Tyler, Jacksonville, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Beaumont, Orange, Nederland and Port Arthur constitute the urban centers. A number of bayous, creeks and segments of rivers are considered impaired for elevated levels of bacteria. These bacteria come from the many animal and human sources across the watershed. Their presence in surface water above state water quality standards indicates an increased risk to human health for those choosing to contact recreate (swimming, diving, children wading, etc.) in these waters.
Across the basin, 35 bacteria (E. coli or enterococcus) impairments exist in 22 separate water bodies. Several efforts have already occurred in the basin to address some of these bacteria impairments including the development of watershed protection plans (WPPs) or total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and TMDL implementation plans (I-Plans). Through a variety of projects, TWRI is working with the Angelina & Neches River Authority stakeholders in smaller watersheds within the basin to understand bacteria loading issues and develop plans (TMDL/I-Plans/WPPs) to restore water quality.