The Stimulus to Benefit Coasts and Rivers

     In late April I reported that funds in the massive federal stimulus package had been directed to restoring  and refurbishing our national parks after years of neglect. 

     There is more good environmental news stemming from the stim.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has just spent the $167 million it had been allotted for the restoration of marine and coastal habitat.  NOAA has named 50 projects in 22 states and two territories to receive the money.  The projects will: restore damaged wetlands, shellfish beds and coral reefs; reopen fish passages; and remove debris from U.S. coasts.

     The projects will bring about the restoration of more than 8,900 acres of habitat.  More than 700 stream miles will be opened for fish migration and spawning.  Oyster beds will be rebuilt and threats to coral reefs will be reduced.  And more than 850 metric tons of debris will be removed  from coastlines.

     The projects will also support 5,000 jobs–for laborers, nursery workers, design engineers, botanists, and others.

     Following are just a few examples of the types of restoration that will soon be underway, thanks to the stimulus money:

      Milwaukee River and Restoration Project:  Fish access to riverine habitat will be re-established through a removal of multiple fish passage barriers and a dam.  More than 100,000 acres of watershed habitat will be restored, and more than 150 stream miles will be connected with Lake Michigan.

     Northeast Florida Wetland Restoration:  More than 1,000 acres of wetlands will be restored.  By removing dredge spoil and impoundment dikes across 100 acres, natural tidal flow will be returned to natural mangrove habitat.

     Alaska Marine Debris Removal and Restoration:  At 16 locations along Alaska’s rural coast, more than 450 metric tons of debris will be removed.  Most of it is fishing gear that currents have deposited along the coast.  

     Magnolia Marsh Restoration:  More than 40 acres of urban wetland will be restored in southern California’s Huntington Beach.  By reuniting this wetland with the ocean after many decades of separation, significant habitat will be restored for birds, shellfish, and coastal marine fish.

     West Galveston Bay Estuary Restoration:  More than 300 acres of intertidal wetlands in Texas’s Galveston Bay will be restored.  These intertidal wetlands will act as buffers to mitigate flood and storm damage.  The wetlands will also reduce erosion and stabilize shorelines by trapping sediment.–April Moore

The Milwaukee River

The Milwaukee River

Northeast Florida wetlands

Northeast Florida wetlands

 

Alaska coast

Alaska coast

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

West Galveston Bay Estuary

West Galveston Bay Estuary

 

 

 

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