Jefferson County ecosystem restoration project one step closer to reality

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District and Jefferson County have signed a design agreement (DA) for the Jefferson County Ecosystem Restoration Project.

The project was authorized by Congress in 2020 at an initial total project cost of $60 million, which includes design and construction costs.

The project authority is to restore about 5,400 acres of marsh areas within the State’s J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area and protect about 5,200 linear feet of the Gulf Intracoastal Water Way to against further erosion encroachment or habitat loss caused by ship waves.

“As we continue our joint efforts to restore natural habitats along the Texas Coast, this partnership with the Jefferson County and the Texas General Lands Office serves as a testimony of our commitment to Texas and the Nation”, said Col. Timothy Vail, Commander of the District.

According to him, this unique project brings the best of all efforts together: the repurpose of selected dredge material to enhance local ecosystem restoration; consequently adding to the costal resiliency effort in Jefferson County.

The project area is critically important not just for Jefferson County, but also to the State of Texas and the nation. Jefferson County has the largest continuous estuarine marsh ecosystem in Texas. The County and the General Land Office entered into a local cooperation agreement in January 2022 to fund the design phase of the project.

Photo: USACE