Presentation on theme: "Restoring Environment- Maintaining Infrastructure; Tradeoffs for Long Term Sustainability Bob Stokes President Galveston Bay Foundation"— Presentation transcript:
Restoring Environment- Maintaining Infrastructure; Tradeoffs for Long Term Sustainability Bob Stokes President Galveston Bay Foundation (281)
Do you know Galveston Bay? Averages 7-feet deep 660 square miles of water 4 counties: Brazoria, Harris, Chambers, Galveston 24,000 square mile watershed
Galveston Bay Foundation Mission: To preserve, protect, and enhance the natural resources of Galveston Bay and its tributaries for present users and for posterity. Four target areas: Advocacy Conservation Education Research
Galveston Bay Infrastructure Issues Two Main Issues of Balance between Environment and Infrastructure Massive Industrial Complex Galveston Bay hosts nearly 1/2 of the total petrochemical manufacturing and 1/3 of the petroleum refining in the U.S. Navigation Needs of that Complex ~50 mile channel from Port of Houston to Gulf of Mexico
Subsidence Caused by Groundwater and Oil & Gas Extraction Domestic and Industrial Water Needs Highly Accelerated Rates of Subsidence Loss of over 35,000 acres of wetlands Recognition of Problem and Behavioral Change More surface water, less groundwater
Habitat Restoration Identified as number one goal in Galveston Bay National Estuary Program Galveston Bay Plan
GBF Habitat Restoration Actively restoring habitat since 1991 Diverse habitat types: wetland, sea grass, & reef Working directly with local citizens for “community based” habitat restoration
Burnet Bay Restoration Project Burnet Bay
Burnet Bay Plantings with Support from Local Industry
Galveston Bay Infrastructure: Major Navigation Channels Houston Ship Channel Gulf Intracoastal Waterway
Houston Ship Channel ~50 mile channel from Port of Houston to Gulf of Mexico Much of the growth and development of the Houston area is attributable to its completion in 1914 Ship channel-related businesses support more than 785,000 jobs throughout Texas while generating nearly $118 billion of statewide economic impact (Martin Associates, 2007).
How to Balance Navigation Needs and Environment? Ultimate need for growth for capacity and safety Impacts from a wider and deeper channel How to mitigate those impacts?
Houston-Galveston Navigation Channels Beneficial Uses Group (“BUG”) Coalition of 8 government agencies formed in 1990 to identify environmentally and economically responsible ways to utilize the dredged material BUG project goals: Create approximately 4,250 acres of intertidal salt marsh in Galveston Bay Create a 6-acre bird nesting and habitat island Partially restore Redfish Island in Galveston Bay Restore Goat Island in Buffalo Bayou Construct 118 acres of oyster reefs
BUG Project: Evia Island 6-acre island, one mile north of the Bolivar Peninsula built using materials dredged from the expansion of the Houston-Galveston Navigation Channels Peak elevation of 12 feet above mean low tide, features a 250-foot beach and a lagoon area for young birds
BUG Project: Bolivar Marsh Several hundred acres of intertidal salt marsh adjacent to the north side of the Bolivar Peninsula Levees constructed and shaped and erosion protection (geotubes) positioned Two of the three cells filled with dredge material, third cell is partially filled and will be completed over the next 20 years GBF and volunteers planted here at Marsh Mania 2001
Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Important navigation artery in Texas and along entire Gulf Coast Erosion a significant problem along GIWW around Galveston Bay How to address erosion and avoid negatively impacting waterway and shipping?
Erosion Control Project on GIWW Construct rock breakwaters along 34,700 feet of unprotected shoreline on the Anahuac NWR’s GIWW shoreline Adjoins with East Bay Shoreline Protection Project, which recently completed 32,772 feet, or 6.21 miles, of rock breakwaters Barge access and placement similar to recent work at McFaddin NWR