UPDATE: Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Takes Bold Steps to Conserve Oyster Reefs in Carlos, Mesquite and Ayres Bays

Why Do We Need To Rescue Our Reefs?

Texas oyster reefs are a critical component of the natural landscape, providing important ecological services for our bay systems and coastline. Reef structural integrity and oyster reef height (vertical relief) are two critical components of oyster reef health, and unfortunately both are substantially degraded by dredging. We continue to advocate for the closure of the Mesquite Bay Complex to oyster harvest as the reefs within this system:

  • Serve as baffles to slow the movement of water between San Antonio Bay and Aransas Bay
  • Serve such as nursery habitat for fish
  • Provide much needed shoreline protection

Furthermore, the reefs within the Mesquite Bay Complex are strong candidates for restoration and protection is required to effectively conduct substantial oyster reef restoration projects.

Photo courtesy of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies

Your Support of the Proposal is critical to Conserve Mesquite Bay Oyster Reefs

Photo Courtesy of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is accepting public comment for the proposal to prohibit oyster harvest from Carlos, Mesquite and Ayres Bays. The closure would protect ecologically sensitive and unique oyster habitat from the negative biological impacts of increased harvest pressure through the act of dredging reefs. Per TPWD, the ecological importance and sensitivity of these oyster reefs coupled with the historically high harvest pressure and highly variable oyster relative abundance makes this minor bay complex a candidate for permanent closure from harvest. Please click here and show your support for this proposal to conserve our natural resources.

CCA Texas and FlatsWorthy are committed to ensuring that our public oyster reefs are valued and conserved for the structural role they play in our bay systems. We need to prioritize the ecological and structural value of oysters in the water by safeguarding existing reefs and creating new ones. The oyster is so much more than just an appetizer at your local restaurant; it is a foundational component of our bays’ ecosystem.


You can find even more information including oyster facts, oyster fishery management alternatives, social media infographics, news, and more by clicking the button below to access Our Texas Oyster Fishery Advocacy page.

Our Texas Oyster Fishery Advocacy Resource Page


Talk to our CCA Texas Advocacy Director Shane Bonnot by calling 281.953.6612 or emailing him here.