Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Community-based Restoration

Gulf of Mexico Alliance

Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership
• Sabine & Red River

Gulf Ecological Management Sites

Gulf of Mexico Habitat Restoration Web Portal


Gulf of Mexico Foundation
Community Watershed Project
2009 SARP Project #1

Project name:   Sabine and Red River Basins: A Regional Watershed Approach to Identifying Habitat Conservation Needs  
Project number:   SARP-01  
Project status:   Complete  
Grant Administrator:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for SARP)  
Grantee:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation  
Project location:   Red River and Sabine River watersheds: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas  
Grant period:   April 1 - Oct 31, 2021  
Grant amount:   $50,000  
Types of Habitat:   Riparian zones and lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams, and wetlands.  
Project leader:   Mikell Smith, Project Manager
Gulf of Mexico Foundation
PMB 51 5403 Everhart Rd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78411

Red River and Sabine River basins - click map to enlarge
Project area: Red River and Sabine River basins - click to enlarge
MAP: National Wetlands Research Center, USGS

Water supply and quality represent vital needs that human and wildlife populations depend on. This study set out to identify and prioritize issues that affect aquatic resources located in the Red River and Sabine River basins as well as the waters that flow into them. The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP), who granted the funds, is an alliance formed to address the many issues that affect aquatic resources throughout the Southeast United States so that people may continue to enjoy and benefit from them.

The Red River begins in the Texas Panhandle and flows east along the Oklahoma/Texas border, briefly through Arkansas, and on through Louisiana to join the Mississippi River there. It covers 1,360 miles (2,188 km) and drains 30,700 square miles (79,512 km2). The headwaters of the Sabine River are found in East Texas, near Greenville. It forms part of the Louisiana/Texas border before it flows into the Gulf of Mexico, draining 9,756 square miles (25,270 km2) along its 555 miles (893 km). Both rivers provide water to both humans and ecosystems as well as fishing and recreational opportunities that provide significant benefits. A regional effort is needed to mitigate and balance issues of water quality, water quantity, sediment supply, and habitat loss.

Lake Fork Reservoir on Sabine River - click to enlarge
Lake Fork, a reservoir on the Sabine River near Quitman, Texas, is part of the project area.

Project Summary:
The project engaged a broad range of stakeholders to identify the state of conservation efforts, along with threats, objectives and impediments that impact upon aquatic resources within the project area. A summary report has inventoried these issues, identified the affected habitat and species and recommended targets for restoration and conservation actions. It will also serve as a guide for similar efforts planned for other basins that are included in the Southeast Aquatic Habitat Plan, developed by the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP), as well as inform the adaptive management process. Based on the Nature Conservancy’s 5-S approach which frames outreach and analysis in terms of Systems, Stresses, Sources, Strategies and Successes. Data and information yielded by the project will be used in conjunction with a GIS and data-based assessment tool at the National Wetlands Research Center of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Project Objectives:

  • Assess the state of conservation efforts in the Sabine and Red River basins
  • Identify stakeholders and create a comprehensive database
  • Engage those stakeholders through meetings, a survey instrument and ongoing collaboration
  • Compile existing plans and information resources that relate to management of wildlife, water quantity, water quality and other pertinent materials
  • Set priorities, focus resources, and improve coordination among all stakeholders
  • Recommend targets, strategies, and conservation steps

Community Involvement:
A wide range of businesses, organizations, agencies, landowners and citizens rely on the waters and aquatic resources of interest. The collaborative process solicited the participation of stakeholders who have interest, including those engaged in:

  • Water supply management (human)
  • Water supply management (environmental)
  • Water quality management
  • Land use planning
  • Real Estate
  • Economic Development
  • Financial
  • Industrial, including power generation
  • Fishing, recreational
  • Fishing, commercial
  • Conservation
  • Natural resource management
  • Oil & Gas, Mining
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry/Timber
  • Research
  • Policy, Regulation and Law
  • Citizen and Grassroots efforts

SARP Flow Chart - click to enlarge
SARP Flow Chart - click to enlarge

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
e-mail:     website:
webmaster: Carrie Robertson

Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership

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Sabine-Red River Final Report
(pdf 3480mb)

SARP Sabine & Red River Community Watershed Project brochure
Sabine & Red River Community Watershed Project brochure
(pdf 719kb)

Southeast Aquatic Habitat Plan
(pdf 188kb)

A Framework for Assessing the Nation’s Fish Habitat
(pdf 744kb)

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