The Trinity River meanders for some 512 miles. It stretches from north of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, meandering through many counties and the bustling population of the Houston Metroplex, and finally empties into the Galveston Bay.

The vast natural resources of this mighty river are very important to Texas.  Resources such as drinking water, natural habitat, flood prevention, storm water drainage, water pollution filtration, navigation, and a vast array of recreation opportunities such as bird watching, canoeing, fishing, hiking etc.

With more than 8.9 million residents, the river and its 1,983 miles of major tributaries drain an area of more than 11.5 million acres and supports water needs for 40 percent of the state's population. Many of these residents, urban and rural, depend on the river and its natural resources for maintaining quality of life and economic prosperity. Increased development and changes in land use have threatened the water quality, wildlife habitats, groundwater availability, recreational opportunities and flood control of the basin.

On September 5, 2006 Governor Rick Perry announced the Trinity River Basin Environmental Restoration Initiative and asked Texas A&M University to lead the effort through the Institute for Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) and the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI).