Balboa is Texas Sea Grant’s new marine agent for Matagorda County

March 19, 2014

By Cindie Powell

MATAGORDA, Texas — Matagorda County’s new extension agent for coastal and marine resources, Bill Balboa, has decades of experience in bay system ecology and coastal fisheries.

Balboa took his new post, which is a partnership of the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Matagorda County Commissioners’ Court, on March 17.

He comes to Texas Sea Grant Extension from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, where he served as the ecosystem leader for Galveston Bay from 2008 to 2014 and in the same position for Matagorda Bay from 1997 to 2007, coordinating fisheries and habitat data collection and conducting outreach to recreational and commercial fisheries, federal and state agencies, and other stakeholders. He also worked at the agency as a fisheries biologist involved with the collection of data in Matagorda and Galveston bays and in the Lower Laguna Madre.

“Texas Sea Grant is delighted to have Bill Balboa join our extension team,” said Dr. Pamela Plotkin, director of Texas Sea Grant. “His background in Texas coastal fisheries and the Matagorda Bay and Galveston Bay ecosystems will be a tremendous asset for Matagorda County and our entire program.”

Balboa has a bachelor’s degree in invertebrate zoology from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and is currently enrolled in the graduate environmental management degree program at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Texas Sea Grant’s Extension Program includes agents in Jefferson, Chambers, Galveston, Brazoria, Matagorda, Calhoun and Cameron counties who are trained to deal with coastal and marine issues at the county level, as well as specialists in several coastal and marine fields who are also located in coastal communities. The network is patterned after the highly successful agricultural cooperative extension model.

Pictured:

Bill Balboa is Texas Sea Grant’s new Matagorda County Extension Agent for Coastal and Marine Resources. (Photo by Earl Nottingham/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)

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Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.