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Funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, U.S. Department of the Interior’s Coastal Impact Assistance Program, and the Texas General Land Office’s Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act Program, the project represents a successful partnership between SCENIC GALVESTON (an environmental nonprofit), the General Land Office, AECOM (a global engineering consultant with a Houston-based design and construction oversight team), and Apollo (a Texas-based construction contractor).
The sophisticated modeling, design, and construction of this project demonstrated the viability of a new sediment delivery approach that advanced large-scale wetland restoration utilizing a renewable sediment source from the Mississippi River. Through the design of the sediment pipeline corridor, what originally started off as an approximately a 400-acre marsh creation project, created the foundation for creating nearly 1,100 acres of marsh habitat along the critically degraded upper Barataria Land Bridge.
The results: A lush marsh with a resident otter family, cancer in the mummichog fish has dropped to background levels, over 26 species of fish feed from the marsh, oysters are growing on the reef and wetland sill structure, and a significant upland buffer is flourishing into a forest. Money Point demonstrates that restoration projects function best when the entirety of an ecological continuum is nursed back to life.
At the Mispillion site, the project team assessed water filtration and nutrient removal by oysters and ribbed mussels as the animals colonized and grew on the installed materials. The work that PDE performed in collaboration with partners at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, as well as the DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor, highlights the value of robust monitoring efforts. Due to the success of the original project installed between 2014 and 2016, a secondary effort to expand the living shoreline began in 2018, and PDE is pursuing additional funding to sustain the monitoring into at least 2022.
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