AUSTIN — Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson today announced a $200,000 grant to help re-open Cedar Bayou, a natural pass between the Gulf of Mexico and the Aransas Bay complex.
"This is good news for the whooping cranes, as well as everything else that depends on a healthy bay system," Patterson said. "Everything alive in the Aransas and Mesquite bay systems will benefit once this pass opens and the natural dynamics are restored."
The $200,000 grant awarded today is in addition to the $518,000 the General Land Office previously awarded for work to reopen Cedar Bayou.
The project will straighten Cedar Bayou and connect it with a channel from Vinson Slough near the beach of San Jose Island. Dredge sand from the channel will be placed in a semi-circle offshore to bolster a natural delta and to diffuse waves that tend to plug the mouth with sand. This will re-establish the hydraulic connection between the Gulf of Mexico and the Aransas/Mesquite bay system and re-establish the life-cycle migration route for a variety of marine species, as well as enhance tidal flow to thousands of acres of tidal wetlands adjacent to Cedar Bayou and Vinson Slough.
The Cedar Bayou grant application was evaluated by representatives from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Railroad Commission of Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Water Development Board, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, the Texas Sea Grant College Program and the Texas General Land Office. The General Land Office granted final approval of the project as part of this year's Coastal Management Program grant cycle.
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