Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Matagorda National Wildlife Refuge Receives $353 Thousand in Support of Habitat Restoration
Southwest Region, October 2, 2007
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Matagorda Island encompasses 56,668 acres in Calhoun County, Texas; this island is 38 miles long and is located approximately six miles off the Texas central coast between the cities of Port O’Connor and Fulton.  Matagorda Island has historically been used as a bombing range and for beef cattle production. 

Habitats found on Matagorda Island include gulf beach and low dunes on the eastern shoreline, coastal prairie with freshwater emergent marshes in the interior, and an estimated 15,000 acres of intertidal estuarine emergent marshes on the southwestern boundary.  In the 1940’s large portions of the estuarine marsh were sectioned off with constructed levees so that they could be drained for cattle production.  The area remained in this condition until the late 1970’s when several dozens culverts where installed to restore natural hydrology to the sectioned off marsh areas.  Since that time, many of these culverts have collapsed or have become clogged so that tidal exchange in the marsh has been restricted or eliminated.

In FY 2007, the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, USFWS Coastal Program, NAWCA, Friends of Aransas and Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge, USFWS Fish Passage Program, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and Fish America have provided 353 thousand dollars in support of marsh restoration on Matagorda Island.

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