Galveston Bay Foundation Acquires and Protects West Galveston Island Property
- January 05, 2024
GALVESTON, TEXAS— The Galveston Bay Foundation has permanently protected 63 acres of critical coastal habitat on Galveston Island, known as Redfish Cove. This special piece of land includes coastal wetlands, prairie, and upland buffers, all of which are important to the native wildlife on Galveston Island. The acquisition was funded by the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and supported by the Galveston Bay Estuary Program. This conservation project supports the West Bay Conservation Initiative to acquire and protect critical habitats surrounding West Galveston Bay before they are lost.
“Conserving high-quality habitat around Galveston Bay is extremely important for sustaining our local wildlife and fisheries populations. As we continue to experience growth and development throughout the region, we must invest in the protection of remaining natural areas on Galveston Island,” says Galveston Bay Foundation Director of Land Conservation, Matt Singer.
Redfish Cove includes over 40 acres of estuarine and tidal wetlands, which provide important habitats to water-dependent wildlife such as the Eastern Black Rail. The land also includes a unique shell hash beach, which is an important nesting resource for shorebirds as well as Diamondback Terrapin turtles. By conserving these vital habitats, Galveston Bay Foundation is also protecting important corridors for marsh migration. As sea level rise threatens to drown wetlands, natural upland buffers are needed for coastal habitats, and the wildlife that depend on them, to migrate to in the future. As the name suggests, Redfish Cove contains high-quality fishery habitat for many commercially valuable species, including the namesake redfish, alongside seagrass beds that are home to sea turtles.
“As Galveston Island continues to grow, it is important to conserve open space across the island to preserve the culture of the island. We all love the island for its open space and habitat and natural beauty. While the habitat benefits are important, keeping this tract undeveloped will also help maintain a piece of that culture,” said Galveston Bay Foundation President, Bob Stokes.
To improve wildlife habitat values within Redfish Cove, Galveston Bay Foundation will conduct habitat management including establishing maritime forests, removing invasive species, and creating new oyster reefs. These activities will benefit migratory birds that visit Galveston Island and marine life within West Bay.
About Galveston Bay Foundation
Galveston Bay Foundation is a conservation nonprofit that has served as guardian of Galveston Bay since 1987. Our mission is to preserve and enhance Galveston Bay as a healthy and productive place for generations to come. We work to facilitate a true cross-section of Bay interests through creative, inclusive, and forward-thinking solutions to the challenges confronting Galveston Bay. We envision a future Bay that is brimming with vitality, connected to people, and contributing to the community in every possible way.