Restoration underway for Gulf Coast marsh at McFaddin Beach

Restoration underway for Gulf Coast marsh at McFaddin Beach

MCFADDIN BEACH - Good news for fisherman and bird watchers, officials are working together to help preserve the largest marshland in the state of Texas, located right here at Mcfaddin beach.
 
It's a stopover point for migrating birds from all over the world, and home to many other species. 
 
"What we're trying to do is manage the habitat to help them thrive here," says Douglas Head, Refugee manager at Mcfaddin Beach.
 
It serves as more than just a habitat, the marsh is also a barrier against storm surge.
 
"When the marsh gets too salty, the vegetation dies and it creates an open area," says Judge Jeff Branick.
 
It happened with hurricane Ike and Rita, and crews are now working to help save and restore the largest marsh in the state
.
"It's the main protection Jefferson County has against storm surge," says Judge Branick.
 
"If it wasn't for the marsh, businesses would have been destroyed," he explains.
 
"The marsh helps knock down the surge," he says.
 
Thousands of square feet of sand is being pumped to the shores to restore the beach.
 
The goal is to create a ridge, stopping salt water from entering the fresh water marsh.
 
"If the saltwater continues, it will kill the marsh," Judge Branick says.
 
This project is a restoration of nature, hoping to protect the marsh and the habitat of those that live in it.
 
"If we can't keep this restored, we're going to see the marsh disappear at a rapid rate, and that's not good," Douglas says.
 
Over 3 and a half miles of marsh land have already been restored, but the goal is to complete the 20 mile project, costing about 44 million dollars.
 
The project is put together by the Texas General Land office, Commissioner George P. Bush, Governor Abbott, U.S. Fish and wildlife, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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