Dredged Material Placement at Pierce Marsh is Complete

Drone shot image of the Pierce Marsh restoration cell completed in early 2024. The vegetated portion of the cell was completed in January 2022, and the bare sediments of the cell were placed in early 2024. (Photo: Michael Plaza, Ducks Unlimited)

The Texas Trustee Implementation Group is pleased to announce the completion of a second dredged sediment placement event for the Pierce Marsh Wetland Restoration Project. The project restored 115 acres of wetlands and coastal habitats by using dredged material to create a viable, vegetated, wetland habitat for a variety of plants, fish, birds, and other wildlife that frequent the Pierce Marsh wetlands.  

To complete construction of this restoration project, NOAA partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Texas General Land Office, Ducks Unlimited, and the Galveston Bay Foundation to restore 115 acres of intertidal marsh in Pierce Marsh in West Galveston Bay, Texas. More than 280,000 cubic yards of sediment dredged from federally managed navigation channels was placed into the site during two dredging phases, the first completed in January of 2022 and the second completed in early 2024. During the second phase, sediment was pumped more than seven miles to the restoration site.

The Deepwater Horizon Texas Trustee Implementation Group authorized funding to pay for the incremental cost of placing the dredged sediment into Pierce Marsh in their first restoration plan (PDF, 510 pages) published in 2017. This means that the dredge material is diverted from disposal sites and, instead, is beneficially used to restore marsh.  The TIG only pays the cost difference between disposal and beneficial use. This partnership structure leads to appreciable cost savings and results in maximum marsh restoration results from available funding. Ducks Unlimited will monitor sediment settlement, and the Galveston Bay Foundation will lead vegetation planting and monitoring efforts. This project is part of a long-term effort to restore the 800-acre Pierce Marsh system.

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