DNR measures and predicts coastal and ocean phenomena, works to ensure safe navigation, and serves the Texas public in many other ways
- Protecting Texas Submerged Resources - DNR works to fulfill this goal by monitoring and observing changes in water level, which affect the littoral boundary of Texas coastal areas. DNR scientists strive to understand how coastal and ocean long-term and short-term water level change are affected by natural and human-caused changes. Scientists assess conditions and attempt to predict the potential impacts of physical stressors on these economically important and sensitive environments that exist under the jurisdiction of the State of Texas.
- Understanding Water Level Change and Variability - DNR is responsible for providing scientific data and information to help measure and predict the impacts of climate change on the Texas coast. DNR works to reduce the impacts of storms and flooding by developing disaster preparedness information such as early warning systems to assist emergency managers develop evacuation plans for coastal communities. The water level change impacts that are most relevant to DNR scientists include those that alter relative sea levels and the frequency and strength of coastal storms.
- Fulfilling Weather and Water Information Needs - DNR collects and distributes many types of water-related information, including hydrographic survey data. It also collects tide and water-level data through the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) in Galveston Bay and the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network. Using these data, NOS endeavors to understand the relationships between weather, coastal communities and the ecosystems that support them. DNR assists scientists at the Texas Water Development Board develop coastal, bay and harbor circulation models that demonstrate water level changes, subsidence, water currents, temperature and salinity. These models help the State of Texas forecast the potential impacts of storm events. Thus, DNR provides federal, state and local decision makers with educational materials, tools and scientific data so that they can plan and prepare for hazards.
- Supporting Commerce and Transportation - DNR uses advanced technology to collect hydrographic and shoreline data, and to monitor tides and water levels to ensure safe and efficient marine transportation. Other products and services, including electronic navigational charts, PORTS information, and access to precise global positioning system data, improve the accuracy of vessel movement and precise positioning. DNR's data products and services are critical to ensuring that the Texas marine transportation system, which is expected to grow exponentially over the next 20 years, will be able to handle additional commerce.