Land Cover and Ecosystems

In addition to the diverse natural setting, the region contains a variety of land cover, land use types and ecosystems. Land uses range from scattered development with large acreages of undeveloped land to dense industrial development, which provides a challenging array of issues for water quality management. The San Jacinto River's headwaters are in regions of undeveloped land used primarily for grazing. Scattered small towns and communities are found along the San Jacinto. Further downstream is more dense development from the northern suburbs of Houston through the core of city and to the highly industrial Houston Ship Channel, where the river drains into Galveston Bay and ultimately to the Gulf of Mexico. The coastal basins typically drain from agricultural areas to moderately dense urban settings. The southwestern portion of the San Jacinto Brazos Coastal Basin and the San Bernard River segments drain through small rural communities, industrial areas, coastal wetlands and estuaries, to bays and then the Gulf of Mexico.

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