Habitat project aims to repair what Harvey broke | CCA Texas, BCT dig in to restore a wetlands project along Dickinson Bayou

When Hurricane Harvey rolled ashore in Texas in August 2017, it left a trail of destruction that is still being repaired today, and a habitat project underway along the banks of Dickinson Bayou will put back repaired marsh that washed away in the storm’s extraordinary floods. CCA Texas supported the original Dickinson Bayou Restoration Project that enhanced and protected approximately 18 acres of tidal wetlands in 2016, but Hurricane Harvey took a heavy toll. Now CCA Texas, the Building Conservation Trust – the national habitat program of CCA – and Shell Oil Company are supporting efforts to replant two acres of marsh that will help protect an additional 18 acres of wetlands.

“This is an area that is clearly vulnerable to erosion and so there is a need to make sure this project is solidly in place and can perform as originally intended,” said John Blaha, director of the CCA Texas habitat program. “We saw some real improvements in this area after the original project and we weren’t about to walk away from it just because of an unfortunate setback. When it comes to habitat work, you have to play the cards that Mother Nature deals you and just keep persevering.”

The Dickinson Bayou Restoration Project protect is ultimately expected to improve water quality in the area and provide erosion protection for the surrounding marsh. Even in the short time before Harvey did his damage, the project was observed to have improved fish and wildlife habitat in the area and enhanced stormwater filtration in Dickinson Bayou. CCA Texas and BCT have contributed $100,000 to both phases of the project. The current replanting work will utilize 10,000 smooth cordgrass plants from the NRG Energy Eco-Center and was completed last week.