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Q.2-09: Building Resiliency in Coastal Waterfowl Habitats on the Texas Coast

Presented by Kevin Hartke - Email: khartke@ducks.org

Coastal wetlands on the Texas Gulf Coast provide critical habitat for a diversity of waterfowl species, serving as essential foraging habitats during migration and winter and nesting and brood rearing habitats during breeding seasons. These critical estuarine wetlands are subjected to long-term negative impacts from the interaction of anthropogenic and environmental factors. For example, the negative effects of relative sea-level rise on coastal marshes have been exacerbated by dredged commercial navigation channels and petroleum extraction along the Texas Coast. Impacts from shoreline erosion, saltwater intrusion and marsh subsidence result in habitat degradation and loss, chiefly in the form of conversion from vegetated marsh to contiguous open water and higher salinity. Ducks Unlimited, in collaboration with their conservation partners in Texas, are actively restoring impacted coastal marsh habitats using shoreline protection measures to reduce shoreline erosion and rebuilding marsh habitats through the beneficial use of dredged materials. Examples of these projects and techniques will be presented. Considering the magnitude of scope and expense of these projects and the scale of impacts along the Texas Coast, Ducks Unlimited has developed decision support tools and planning guides to identify and prioritize projects. These products will be advantageous to Ducks Unlimited and their partners in Texas when seeking financial support for priority coastal marsh projects from the various potential funding sources associated with the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (aka RESTORE Act), Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (aka GOMESA), and others.
Session: Poster Session 2 (Wednesday, August 28, 19:00 to 21:00)