Gulf Guardian Award: 3rd Place Civic/NonProfit – Nueces Bay Marsh Restoration Project

Posted on May 20, 2019

The Nueces Bay Marsh is a 160 acre marsh restoration project along the Nueces Bay Causeway between Corpus Christi and Portland. Once a thriving bay ecosystem and essential habitat for juvenile fish, shrimp and crabs, as well as feeding grounds for bigger fish and birds, the marsh began to see declines in the 1940’s when construction began on the Highway 181 Nueces Bay Causeway to replace the narrow wooden causeway that historically connected the cities of Corpus Christi and Portland. A total of 340 acres of marsh were lost due to erosion and subsidence and harmed the fish and and wildlife that utilized marsh.

The project benefits the health and productivity of the Gulf in that it created 160 acre marsh complex in an area that had seen significant habitat loss in the last 50 years. The Nueces Bay is connected to the Gulf of Mexico via Corpus Christi Bay and Aransas Pass. The Nueces estuary is so critical to the growth and development of shrimp that it was designated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as a shrimp nursery area, and there is no commercial shrimping allowed. Many marine species will benefit from this restored nursery grounds.

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