Wetland Conservation and Management for the Texas Central Coast

Wetland Habitat Projects

Wetlands can be enhanced, restored and created to provide quality habitat for a host of wetland wildlife. The type of project depends on characteristics of the land such as topography, presence of existing or former wetlands, and historic and current land uses. A project goal or suite of goals also is important as this will ultimately shape how the wetland project is developed. For example, many landowners in the Central Coast of Texas desire wetland habitat that attract migratory waterfowl in winter. Such projects include shallow wetlands and flooded harvested rice fields where wintering waterfowl can acquire freshwater and food. Post-construction management also is an important consideration when developing a project. Wetland projects typical to the Central Coast include:

Shallow wetland impoundments
Agricultural wetlands
Supplemental water
Erosion control for coastal marsh

Wetlands are regulated under state and federal law and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are responsible for protecting their integrity. Development activities in wetlands such as levee construction and the installation of a water control structure are regulated by the USACE and may require a permit. Landowners are responsible for ensuring that project development does not negatively impact wetlands on or adjacent to their property. Participants in U.S. Department of Agriculture programs can consult their local Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service specialists to determine the presence of wetlands and the need for a permit. Other landowners participating in a wetland conservation cost-share assistance program also can receive advice from the assisting agency or organization.

Wetland enhancement is the improvement and management of an existing wetland for a particular function or value, possibly at the expense of other existing functions or values.

Wetland restoration is the rehabilitation of a degraded wetland that was previously a naturally functioning wetland prior to human impact.

Wetland creation or establishment is the conversion of a previously non-wetland area to a wetland