In 2007, the conservancy had applied for several grants, including one from
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Estuary Habitat Restoration program and another from the Texas General Land O;ce’s (GLO) Coastal Impact
“Both funding requests were approved but had slightly di;erent requirements
about who does what,” so ;e Nature Conservancy divided the program into
two projects it sponsored, Mr. Herron explains.
For the project funded in part with US$855,000 from the USACE, the team
planned to build approximately 15 acres ( 6 hectares) of reef. ;e project funded
with US$3.8 million from the GLO would build 45 acres ( 18 hectares).
;e conservancy intended to launch the program with the smaller USACE
project and then proceed to the larger one. But then intention met reality.
IN TO UNCHARTED WATERS
;e USACE had executed ;ood-control, beach-renourishment and other ecological initiatives. Yet it usually handles more typical construction and navigation projects, such as dredging ship channels to allow for safe passage of goods
to the ports it maintains along the Texas coast, including four of the nation’s
10 busiest ports.
WITH ITS US$5.4 MILLION HALF
MOON REEF RESTORATION PROGRAM,
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY HOPED
TO LAY A LITERAL FOUNDATION FOR
A NEW REEF THAT MAY NATURALLY
GROW TO THE HUNDREDS OF ACRES
THAT ONCE GRACED THE AREA.
Matagorda Bay is
seen from space.
Below, old oyster
shells pile up near
work on a new
PHO TO BY JEROD FOSTER COURTESY OF
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY