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MATAGORDA SHIP CHANNEL IMPROVEMENT PROJECT - BENEFICIAL USES WORKING GROUP (BUG) MEETING
Southwest Region, October 10, 2006
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The Corpus Christi Ecological Services Office (CCESO), with the Houston Ecological Services Office (HESO) participated in the 6th meeting of the interagency working group.  This project is being developed by the Calhoun County Navigation District (CCND) through a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  CCND is seeking to complete the development of an Environmental Impact Statement by the close of this calendar year.   Alternatives to for placement of dredge material from the deepening project are being finalized by the proponent's consultants.  Issues that have not yet been resolved include the proposal to continue to utilize open-bay disposal sites for future maintenance material or to construct in-bay contained disposal islands.  The impact of open-bay disposal on bay organisms and water quality continues as a point of discussion.

 

There is general support within the interagency work group of a proposed project feature, identified in preliminary plans as BU-G, that would protect from continued erosion important marsh and seagrass habitat in Keller Bay.  The specifics of the design of BU-G, especially how many linear feet of eroding shoreline would be protected, remains to be finalized.  Because this feature is aligned perpendicular to the Matagorda Ship channel, increasing its size also significantly increases the construction and other costs, such as pumping distance of dredge material that would be used to create the marshes within its levees.

 

Information from the salinity modeling being done for this project has not been presented to the Interagency Team.  The results of the modeling could impact recommendations regarding the project relative to important oyster reef habitat in Lavaca Bay, a secondary bay system of Matagorda Bay and one that is transected in part by Matagorda Ship Channel.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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