Burnet Bay Habitat Restoration Project

Burnet Bay is located west of the city of Baytown and south of the intersection of Interstate 10 and Crosby-Lynchburg Road (N Independence Parkway). It is bounded by Crosby-Lynchburg Road and the Lynchburg Ferry to the west, residential properties to the north and east, and the Baytown Nature Center (formerly the subsided Brownwood Subdivision) to the south.

Historical aerial images dating back to 1944 show that Burnet Bay’s northwestern was bounded by rather extensive wetlands. Between 1906 and 1995 the Burnet Bay area experienced 5-8 feet of elevation loss due to subsidence (USGS Data). Due to this loss in elevation these wetlands disappeared and only two small emergent landforms remained within in the project area.

Construction of the restoration project was completed in the fall of 2009, resulting in the restoration of a thirty three (33) acre intertidal marsh complex. This was accomplished by utilizing dredge material to raise elevations in the form of habitat mounds to support wetland vegetation. Once the habitat mounds were completed, over 100 community and corporate volunteers transplanted wetland vegetation at the project site.

See this project as a poster (PDF) featured at the 2010 Restore America’s Estuaries Habitat Restoration Conference.

Wetland loss due to subsidence shown by aerial photos.

Habitat restoration progress.

PlacementofDredgeMaterial 20042009 20092011

Project partners include: Restore America’s EstuariesNOAA Restoration CenterTexas General Land Office Coastal Management ProgramGalveston Bay Estuary ProgramHarris County,Mitsui & Co., Ltd, USFWS Coastal ProgramPort of Houston AuthorityTexas Parks and WildlifeNRG TexasUSDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and NOAA Fisheries Habitat Conservation Division.