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YEAR 2005 - CRP Project #4007 (Gulf of Mexico)

Project #4007
Long Lake Marsh Restoration

Austwell, Texas

Restoration site location map - click to enlarge
Restoration site location map

Project name: Long Lake Marsh Restoration (#4007)
Project status: Complete
Grant Administrator: Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)
Grantee: Friends of Aransas and Matagorda Island NWRs
Project location: Austwell, Texas
Grant period: Jan 1, 2021 to Sept 30, 2021 (the presence of the endangered whooping crane will interrupt on-the-ground work on Matagorda Island Jan 1 through April 15)
Grant amount: $15,310
Land Ownership: (public/private) Matagorda Island is a National Wildlife Refuge owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. By agreement, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department administers a state park on the north end of the island.
Lat/Long: 28.16799° N, 96.79311° W
Types of Habitat: Salt marsh composed of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), saltmarsh bulrush (Scirpus maritimus) and open water on a Barrier Island.
Project leader: Darrin Welchert, Wildlife Biologist
                         P.O. Box 281
                         Austwell, TX 77950
                         (361) 286-3559 phone
                         (361) 286-3722 fax

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
The marshes and open water habitats associated with the project area are highly productive for the living marine resources in the Mesquite Bay system. Some of the commercial fish species include:

  • brown and pink shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus and F. durorarum)
  • white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus)
  • black drum (Pogonias cromis)
  • southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma)
  • sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus)
  • eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica)
  • blue crab (Callinectes sapidus)
  • mullet (Mugil sp.)
  • Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus)
All of these species can be expected to benefit from restoration of the Long Lake Culverts. Numerous species of birds have been documented feeding in the open bays, shorelines and mudflats, marshes and upland habitats in the area. Approximately 90 percent of avian species traveling the Central Flyway congregate in the Texas Coastal Bend for the duration of winter, and include sandhill cranes, Canada and snow geese, teal, pintail, redheads, ruddy ducks, gadwalls, and many others. The area also hosts a number of year-round species including white pelicans, brown pelicans, cormorants, mottled ducks, black skimmers, egrets, herons, ibis, plovers, sandpipers and many others.

Acres of Habitat Restored: 675 acres of salt marsh nursery

Community Involvement
(from final progress report by project leader Darrin Welchert, May 23, 2021)
Tivoli High School teachers and students made two site visits (one before and one after project completion). Two additional surveys were conducted by Aransas NWR’s Youth Conservation Corps, which is made up of students form the Tivoli High School. The students monitored physical changes in water chemistry and faunal composition that occur over time as a result of project efforts. A total of 207 hours were spent doing conservation education and biological work on the project. Students learned how to use water quality probes, cast nets, flow meter, and seines to gather biological data.

Click on photo to enlarge

Culvert before restoration - click to enlarge
Long Lake culvert before restoration

Culvert during restoration - click to enlarge
Long Lake culvert during restoration

Culvert after restoration - click to enlarge
Long Lake culvert after restoration

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NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program

Texas Coastal Management Program

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

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
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webmaster: Carrie Robertson