Shoreline erosion is a continuous problem all along the Texas coast.This erosion often results in the loss of important marsh lands and estuaries, saltwater intrusion into freshwater ponds and lakes, and the degradation of the overall health of affected ecosystems.CCA Texas has partnered with organizations such as Galveston Bay Foundation, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program and others to help stop, correct and prevent further shoreline erosion in many areas. Some of these past projects include work along the J. D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area, Oyster Lake in West Galveston Bay, Bird Island Cove, Snake Island Cove, shoreline along the San Bernard Wildlife Refuge and Cow Trap Lakes.
Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow (HTFT) and CCA’s National Habitat Program, Building Conservation Trust (BCT), included the Moses Lake Shoreline Protection Project in the 2017 Habitat Plan for the Texas Gulf Coast Initiative with a $150,000 contribution to the project.Galveston Bay Foundation is the lead partner in this project that includes a partnership with Texas General Land Office, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Accenture, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)/Shell, NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund and NRG Energy.
The construction contract was granted in January 2018, and work began during the first week of February.This project will provide protection for 1.3 miles of shoreline and restore up to 10 acres of intertidal marsh complex within Moses Lake.This work will focus on the shoreline along the Texas Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve.This area is subject to prevailing wind-driven waves from the southeast that impact the shoreline through much of the spring, summer and fall, resulting in vegetation and soil loss, and ultimately habitat conversion.
Construction will consist of hard structure breakwaters which will help reduce shoreline erosion and minimize wetland loss through the process of reducing wave energy.With the construction of the breakwater, roughly 10 acres will then be available for wetland restoration between the breakwater and existing shoreline.This method of restoration has proven successful throughout the Galveston Bay System and elsewhere on the coast.This newly protected and restored area will provide critical habitat for fish and shellfish, and it will also improve water quality in the area.
Estuarine marshes are important and high-priority nursery habitat for fish and shellfish species including Gulf menhaden, sand sea-trout, Atlantic croaker, spotted sea-trout, and white shrimp.A healthy eco-system ultimately provides more opportunities to members of the general public such as recreational fishermen and ecotourism.
CCA Texas and BCT look forward to seeing the completion of this project and a strong closure to the Texas Gulf Coast Initiative’s 2017 Habitat Plan.This project is one of six projects funded in 2017 with $530,000 that resulted in $4.28 million in habitat restoration and creation along the Texas coast.CCA Texas and BCT are currently finalizing the 2018 Habitat Plan and look forward to growing the existing partnership and building new ones.
If you or your company would like to contribute to the restoration and creation of habitat along the Texas coast, please contact Sean Stone, BCT Executive Director (713-626-4234, firstname.lastname@example.org), or John Blaha, HTFT Director (713-626-4222, email@example.com), for more information and opportunities.
CCA Texas Events Near You
CCA Texas volunteers and staff have already kicked off 2018 with a full schedule in February.The Houston Real Estate chapter held its event on February 6 and, on February 22, three more events were held.These included Corpus Christi, the largest attended event in the nation; Trinity Valley, in Liberty; and San Bernard, in East Bernard.Early events look good and we are excited about 2018.Events coming up in March include:
March 1st – Sabine Neches (Port Arthur)
March 2nd – Brazos Valley (College Station)
March 22nd – Helotes (Helotes)
March 23rd – Texas State (San Marcos)
March 24th – Port O’Connor (Port O’Connor)