Posted on April 6, 2022
GALVESTON, Texas —
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Galveston District and Jefferson County, signed a design agreement (DA) March 21 for the Jefferson County Ecosystem Restoration Project. The project was authorized by Congress in 2020 at an initial total project cost of $60M, which includes design and construction costs.
The project authority is to restore about 5,400 acres of marsh areas within the State’s J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area and protect about 5,200 linear feet of the Gulf Intracoastal Water Way to against further erosion encroachment or habitat loss caused by ship waves.
“As we continue our joint efforts to restore natural habitats along the Texas Coast, this partnership with the Jefferson County and the Texas General Lands Office serves as a testimony of our commitment to Texas and the Nation”, said Col. Timothy Vail, Commander of the District.
The project area is critically important not just for Jefferson County, but also to the State of Texas and the nation. Jefferson County has the largest continuous estuarine marsh ecosystem in Texas. The county is home to the federal McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge and the State J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area, which provide important, critical natural habitats and provide recreational opportunities for local, national, and international tourism. The natural habitats serve as resting stop for many species migrating to/from North America, Caribbean, Central America, and South America. The marshes serve as a natural barrier protecting nearby communities, critical infrastructures, and industries against inland migration of storm surges. The marshes also serve as natural carbon sequestration sites in the fight against climate change.
“I fully support this project to restore this critical marsh as a habitat for our wildlife and marine life, as a storm barrier, and as a recreational treasure,” said Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick.
Jefferson County and the General Land Office entered into a local cooperation agreement in January 2022 to fund the design phase of the project.