Commission Agenda Item No. 6
Presenters:  Jamie Schubert
Jim Sutherlin

Coastal Marsh Project
March 31, 2011

I.       Executive Summary:  Staff will provide the Commission an update and overview of the successful efforts of Coastal Fisheries and Wildlife Division staff to restore coastal marsh habitats on the J. D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area (WMA) through Hurricane Ike Recovery National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Grant funding and cooperative efforts with local industries.

II.      Discussion:  Emergent marsh loss impacts to the J. D. Murphree WMA measured roughly 800 acres according to the USGS resulting from Hurricane Ike.  A $1,000,000 Hurricane Ike Recovery NOAA Fisheries Grant was obtained by the Coastal Fisheries Division to restore approximately 40 acres of emergent marsh within the J. D. Murphree WMA.  Staff worked closely with Ducks Unlimited and Golden Pass LNG to plan and implement a beneficial use (BU) dredge placement project which resulted in the restoration of marsh soils in approximately 1,200 acres of the WMA in September of 2010.  Phase 2 of this effort restored an additional 300 acres during February 2011.  Demonstration of this successful effort has resulted in a recent workshop on the WMA advocating BU techniques to restore emergent marsh.  We now have the interest of local industry, navigation, county and municipal governments and private landowners in expanding these BU efforts to restore coastal marsh on public and private lands.  These efforts demonstrate TPWD’s intent to restore marsh habitats for future generations and ensure hurricane energy buffers are in place in the coastal zone ahead of the next major storm event.