Can Galveston Bay fisheries benefit from marsh creation?




Zimmerman, Roger J., Thomas J. Minello, Timothy Baumer, Mark Pattillo and Marie Pattillo

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Galveston Bay National Estuary Program


The loss of estuarine wetlands is detrimental to many important fisheries because of the loss of essential nursery functions provided by these habitats (Boesch and Turner 1984, Minello and Zimmerman 1991). In Galveston Bay, 21% of the tidal marshes and 70% of the submerged aquatic vegetation has been lost since the 1950's (White et al. 1993). These wetland losses are continuing and are likely to accelerate with higher rates sea level rise. The resulting decline of high quality nursery area will almost certainly affect fisheries such as penaeid shrimps, blue crab, spotted seatrout, red drum, southern flounder and others. Among the few options available to offset effects of wetland loss on fisheries is creation of new habitats to replace those lost. One means of creating intertidal wetlands is through use of clean dredge material.


pgs. 223-229


land reclamation, wetlands, nursery ponds, mitigation banking, population density, graphs