Turbidity describes water clarity. Galveston Bay is considered turbid because the water is not very clear. A common misconception is that turbid water equals dirty water. However, this is not always the case. Because the sediment in Galveston Bay is a very fine silt, it is easily suspended by the wind, making the water brown. Zooplankton, or microscopic animals in the water, can also make the water appear turbid. Although some turbidity can be a sign of a healthy ecosystem, extremely turbid water can be bad. Turbid waters reduce the photic zone, which can affect seagrasses. In addition, excess turbidity can smother organisms, clog the gills of fish and bury fish eggs.
This is the instrument Artist Boat students use to measure Turbidity: