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$3.6M awarded for Packery Channel improvements

High waves are eroding the shoreline of Packery Channel Nature Park, putting fish and birds at risk in their habitats. State funds awarded to Nueces County could help alleviate the problem. Courtesy photo

Living shoreline is project's goal

The Texas General Land Office awarded Nueces County $3.6 million for the Packery Channel Nature Park Shoreline Enhancement Project.

The goal of the project is to create a resilient, living shoreline to protect against erosion, rather than only building walls. The plan includes a raised pier structure for public access.

Packery Channel Nature Park provides access to the channel and is heavily used by people for launching small crafts, birding, and fishing. High-wave energy along the channel is destroying the habitat for wildlife and ruining park facilities.

“The goal of Nueces County is to restore and protect this unique area while allowing continued, safe public access,” said Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales. “The implementation of this project will restore eroded banks and saltwater marsh habitat and shield the shoreline from wave action that would cause continued erosion.”

Plans for the project include an in-depth analysis of water elevations, winds, wind-generated waves, wave energy modeling, and impacts to the area.

The project will utilized a mix of gray-green infrastructure.

Gray infrastructure refers to stormwater management structures such as dams, seawalls, roads, or pipes. Green infrastructure incorporates natural systems for wetlands and soils that provide additional benefits for human well-being, such as flood protection and climate regulation.

“It is a friendlier option to the environment than using alternatives such as bulkheads and walls,” Canales said.

The project is funded by a state grant of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 and awarded through the GLO Coastal Parks Department.

alecia@thepicayune.com

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