Snake Island Cove Habitat Protection and Seagrass Restoration Project
Snake Island Cove is a 900-acre shallow water, marsh-lined cove located in the Galveston Bay watershed just east of the community of Sea Isle and offshore from the Sunset Cove residential subdivision. Based on review of historic aerial photography using GIS, we estimate that over 200 acres of seagrasses were present in the sheltered waters of Snake Island Cove in 1956. Prior to the project, only small, scattered patches of seagrasses were present at the site, primarily interspersed between remaining fragmented marsh complex. The fragmented marsh located within the project area was estimated to be eroding at a rate of five feet per year.
GBF’s Snake Island Cove Project, phases 1 (2007) and 2 (2011), constructed 4,900 linear feet of geotextile tube breakwater protecting 200 acres of estuarine intertidal marsh complex and created over 75 acres of protected calm shallow water habitat leading to the re-establishment of seagrasses within the project area.
The project was jump started by two large voluntary cash donations from adjacent landowners Ross Novelli with Sunbird Development Company and Mr. Tom Bacon. These landowners challenged GBF to match their donations on a dollar for dollar basis. This private money was crucial in making this project happen and is an excellent example of a jumpstart private dollars can give to a worthy wetlands restoration effort. Other project partners include: Restore America’s Estuaries, NOAA Restoration Center, USFWS Coastal Program, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Fish America Foundation, Cheniere Energy, NOAA Fisheries, Habitat Conservation Division, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and CCA Texas.