Habitat Restoration Through Partnership

Texas BHA Chapter awarded conservation grant and partners with USFWS and CCA to spearhead Mid-Coast habitat restoration.

Brazoria County, Texas – From Port Isabel to Sabine Pass, coastal outdoorsmen can tell you about the forces that constantly reshape our beaches, bays, and marshes. They are subjected daily to waves, tidal forces, boat and barge wakes, development, and commercial fishing like oyster dredging. Less frequently, April showers hundreds of miles inland can flood the bays with fresh water for weeks, while hot summer temps bring forceful hurricanes. Every few decades, our neighbors to the north send us an arctic front that comes down to freeze everything to the core. Your GPS might tell you you’ve arrived at your honey hole, but it isn’t the same place it was during your last visit.

In the fall of 2022, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) awarded Texas BHA a $36,000 grant to rebuild and restore the coastal marsh in the Mid-Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. In partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and with additional funding secured by the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), approximately 33 acres of smooth cordgrass were planted along the 4 miles of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. This project will help combat the erosion of the marshland in the refuge complex caused by the constant traffic using the waterway.

The wetlands of the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge and the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge protect inland communities like Freeport and Lake Jackson from hurricanes and other extreme weather events. These estuarine marshes also provide valuable habitats for redfish, flounder, blue-winged teal, northern pintails, and other coastal wildlife we love to pursue. Having a habitat project that delivers just one great conservation accomplishment is exciting. However, having an overall impact on multiple species’ habitats, all happening on public land and water, is a massive win for conservation.

The Gulf Coast is the superstar of the Texas public land experience. With 367 miles of public beaches, several major bay systems, and dozens of wildlife refuges and WMAs, millions of Texas Public Land Owners enjoy its beauty throughout the year. This project and the successful closure of oyster reefs on the mid-coast are significant victories for public land and water in Texas. Still, our focus remains on the future as we fight to keep Texas beaches open for everyone. Texas BHA is proud to work with its conservation partners to protect and enhance this unique ecosystem and, most importantly, keep it open for hunters and anglers to enjoy.

About Judson Brown

Judson Brown is the Public Outreach Chair for the Texas Chapter and a native Texan who enjoys chasing fish and game year round.

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