CCA Texas Joins in Sportsmans Road Restoration Project

Matt Bunn
CCA Texas Joins in Sportsmans Road Restoration Project
This photo shows one “Lo-Pro Reef Ball” that was placed at the Sportsmans Road site to test the aptitude of the Bay bottom.

Recently, CCA Texas joined the Galveston Bay Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NRCS, and NOAA in a partnership on the Sportsmans Road marsh restoration Project in Galveston Bay. This is a great opportunity for CCA Texas to put forth its resources to directly help the estuarine habitat in Galveston Bay.

The marsh area at the West end of Sportsmans Road in Galveston, Texas, has been in a downward spiral for the past 50 years. A combination of natural and human causes has led to massive shoreline degradation and loss of vital marsh habitat for numerous marine species. Since 1956, the shoreline protecting 300 acres of marsh has slowly eroded away. Unless drastic measures are taken, this shoreline will be completely washed away exposing this delicate marsh environment to further damages.

This project consists of three phases and will ultimately provide not only protection to this shoreline but will also rehabilitate the condition of the marsh.

Phase One is the planning and permitting phase which is already under way. Phase Two will take place in mid May of 2007 and will consist of the placement of almost 1000 linear feet of breakwater along the exposed shoreline of this marsh. The breakwater will consist of "Lo-Pro Reef Balls" or dome like concrete structures which will stop the erosive wave action on the shoreline and promote the development of oyster growth on the structures. Once the breakwater is in place, Phase Three will incorporate the planting of marsh grasses to accelerate the re-growth of the marsh.

Many species of fish, plants, and crustaceans breed and develop in this habitat thus making it a crucial part of the ecosystem. "This marsh habitat is vital to the estuarine life in Galveston Bay," said Robby Byers, CCA Texas Executive Director. "This is a great opportunity for CCA Texas volunteers to participate in a hands on project that the entire ecosystem will benefit from."

Although many people and organizations are working on this project, there is still a need for public involvement. We are in need of volunteer participation in all three phases of this project and urge you to get involved and help preserve Galveston Bay. For information on how you can get involved please contact Matt Bunn with CCA Texas at [email protected] or 713-626-4222. We look forward to the success of this project and the continued effort of conserving our coastal resources.