Scoping Artificial Beach Ridge to Minimize Impacts of Shoreline Damages

ANAHUAC, April 14, 2012 - The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) is proposing a project to create a man-made levee paralleling the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico, in an effort to minimize saltwater inflows across the beach ridge during normal high tides. The goal of this action is to reduce saltwater intrusion within McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge (McFaddin NWR). The levee will offset the loss of flood protection during wind or tidal events that the coastal dune system provided until it was destroyed by Hurricane Ike on September 13, 2008. The proposed levee will be approximately 3.6 miles in length with a total elevation of 5.0 feet MSL (83 NAVD).

McFaddin NWR was established to protect critical coastal habitats for the benefit of migratory birds and other native flora and fauna. Portions of McFaddin NWR straddle the Gulf Intra-coastal Waterway, with areas north of the canal being mostly freshwater marshes, and areas south of the canal being mostly intermediate and brackish marshes.

The purpose of this management action is to strategically reduce gulf tidal inflows into the marsh within McFaddin NWR, caused by loss of the coastal dune system. These proposed actions will particularly benefit the Clam Lake, Dipping Vats, Wild Cow Bayou, Willow Lake, and Barnett Lake Management Units, which are now the head waters of the 60,000 acre Salt Bayou Watershed and the last remaining estuary nursery on the Texas side of Sabine Lake.

McFaddin NWR is currently in the draft Environmental Assessment phase of this project. The public comment period closes May 15, 2012. Public comments can be directed to Tami Schutter, Texas Chenier Plain Refuges Complex, Box 278, Anahuac, Texas 77514; 409-267-3337. Email comments can be provided to the following address: tamara_schutter@fws.gov.


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