Project name: #2008 Restoration of Bahia Grande
Project status: Complete
Grant Administrator: Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)
Grantee: Ocean Trust
Project location: Brownsville, Texas
Grant period: Jan 1, 2021 - Dec 31, 2020 (extended to March 31, 2021)
Grant amount: $44,940
Land Ownership: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Lat/Long: 25°54’ N, 97°26’ W
Types of Habitat: former shallow-water coastal estuary
Project leader: Thor Lassen
11921 Freedom Drive
Suite 550-PMB 5580
Reston, VA 20190
(703) 450-9852 phone
(703) 450-9853 fax
Species Benefiting From Restoration:
all coastal species of fish, shellfish, marine wildlife, migratory waterfowl native to South Texas coast.
Acres of Habitat Restored
Entire scope of the multi-year Bahia Grande project involved re-flooding and re-vegetating of three large, dried-out
basins covering 11,000 acres outside of Brownsville, Texas. The portion of the project
funded by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation/NOAA CRP grant involved
renovation of a greenhouse/educational center
to grow plants for the re-vegetation efforts and an initial mangrove planting
field trip done by local school children in one portion of the
Enhance ecological functions and soil stability
within Bahia Grande through the re-vegetation of
native grasses and estuarine plants
- Establish a community-wide coalition to provide
support for Bahia Grande.
This project initiated
re-vegetation work needed to stabilize soil and
reestablish ecological functions of Bahia Grande. It
also worked to establish a community coalition to support the
Project leaders recruited
local biology teachers to participate in
classroom mangrove restoration projects for Bahia
Grande in all three neighboring school systems of
Brownsville, Los Fresnos, and Port Isabel, Texas.
Ocean Trust and US Fish & Wildlife Service representatives
made presentations on Bahia Grande to
925 students who then grew 1,425 mangrove propagules into seedlings over the school year.
In May of 2003, the school children came to the
project site on a field trip to transplant their
seedlings on the banks of Bahia Grande.
Project leaders and volunteers constructed a mangrove nursery near the shores of Bahia Grande in
the Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge to augment school plantings and
support transplanting efforts.
Based on guidance from US Fish & Wildlife Service, soil stabilization with wetland
native grasses was the first priority for
re-vegetation of Bahia Grande. Since no commercial
source for native grass species existed, project leaders
worked with the Texas A&M; Kingsville Kika de la Garza
Plant Material Center to establish germination and nursery grow
out capability for native grasses and other plants to
support the long term re-vegetation needs associated with
restoration of Bahia Grande.
Specific plant species, planting locations within Bahia Grande, and planting
protocols were determined using the expertise of Chris
Best, Fish & Wildlife Service re-vegetation specialist
for the region, and John Reilley at the Texas A&M
Kingsville Kika de la Garza Plant Material Center.
Native grass seeds were collected
from South Padre Island and were stored in a
temperature and humidity controlled refrigerator until
spring 2003. Ocean Trust plans to expand its nursery facility
(i.e., benches, watering and shade system) to grow out
native grasses for replanting in Bahia Grande.