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NOAA CRP RESTORATION PROJECTS
YEAR 2003 - CRP Project #2007 (Gulf of Mexico)

Project #2007
Restoration of Fish Habitat

Gulf Islands National Seashore, Mississippi


Project staff and volunteer monitor seagrass being grown in the Gulf
Coast Research Laboratory. The seagrass will be used to restore
shallow areas in the water around Horn Island.

Project name: #2007 Restoration of Essential Fish Habitat
Project status: Complete
Grant Administrator: Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)
Grantee: Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
Project location: Horn Island, Mississippi
Grant period: March 1, 2021 - Sept 30, 2021 (extended to Dec 31, 2020)
Grant amount: $75,000
Land Ownership: US National Park Service
Lat/Long: N 30.25, W 88.8
Types of Habitat: sea grass beds
Project leader: Harriet Perry (as of April 16, 2021)
                        University of Southern Mississippi
                        Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
                        Center for Fisheries Research and Development
                        PO Box 7000
                        Ocean Springs, MS 39566
                        (228) 872-4272 phone
                        (228) 872-4204 fax

Project location map - click to enlarge
Map of Mississippi coast. Project location at Horn Island.

Species Benefitting From Restoration:
  • marine fish
  • shrimp, crabs and other invertebrate species
Project Goals:
  • Plant sea grass Thalassia thestudinum (turtle grass)
  • Determine shoot density, light and current velocity requirements of sea beds (through monitoring)
  • Increase community awareness of importance of sea grass to fish habitat
  • Determine potential success of sea grass restoration
  • Benefit marine species by providing habitat
  • Reduce erosion to barrier island

Project History:

Low salinity levels caused by release of a spillway into the Mississippi River, plus excess rainfall, reduced sea grass species from six to two. Thalassia thestudinum (turtle grass) no longer present in area since early 1970s. Nearest source where light and salinity are similar is Big Lagoon, Florida (60 miles away). This species grows up to 3 feet long and exhibits thick leaves. Thalassia forms extensive beds that effectively reduce wave action and serve as excellent habitat for fish and finfish.

PROJECT PHOTOS
Click on photo to enlarge

POWER POINT PRESENTATION
    23 slides - 2.18 MB

SITE VISIT SLIDE SHOW
    Dec 10, 2020 - 9 photos


Thalassia thestudinum has been planted at the Horn Island project site. The plant was present until the 1970s when low salinity levels killed it out.
PHOTO: Robin McCall

Volunteers aboard GCRL boat  - click to enlarge
Volunteers aboard a Gulf Coast Research Laboratory boat bound for Horn Island where they will plant turtle grass to restore historic seagrass beds.
PHOTO: GCRL Spring 2004

Aerial drawing of Horn Island - click to enlarge
Aerial drawing of Horn Island. Shaded areas show the distribution of Halodule (shoal grass) along the north side. Thalassia, although historically present, has not occurred here since the early 1970s.

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PROJECT PARTNERS

NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Jackson County Community College honors biology students

Recreational divers

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Private Citizens Concerned with Environmental Affairs

Boy Scouts

Girls Scouts

Mississippi Department of Natural Resources

Ocean Springs Middle School

Local residents

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
e-mail: info@gulfmex.org     website: gulfmex.org
webmaster: Carrie Robertson