Marsh Terracing Strategies for Marsh Creation
The Habitat Conservation Blueprint identifies 167 Galveston Bay sites which are in need of habitat restoration and/or conservation. Of these, many have been affected by subsidence. With the decrease in subsidence rates around the Bay, it is now feasible to raise the elevation of subsided areas and plant new marsh vegetation. Terracing techniques, such as those developed in Louisiana have been used to restore habitat at Galveston Island Park, and at Pierce Marsh. At Pierce Marsh, 153 terraces were constructed and planted, resulting in the restoration of approximately 62 acres of intertidal and subtidal habitat. One year later, vegetation is becoming established and the area is being utilized by marsh fauna. Lessons learned at Pierce Marsh have implications for the design and placement of terraces for future restoration projects.