Habitat Restoration

Living Shorelines Restoration

The Gulf of Mexico shoreline has been receding for decades due to reduced sedimentation, hurricane damage, plant loss, and anthropogenic pressure. This loss of habitat has proven to be detrimental to the fish and wildlife that depend on this wetland habitat for shelter, food, and breeding grounds.

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Furthermore, it adversely affects the environment due to the significant reduction in the buffer zone between the coastal land and the marine environment. Plants and salt marsh grasses serve to filter land-runoff from residential and commercial areas, agricultural activities, and other industries that would otherwise reach and pollute the marine environment. This buffer zone also works in reverse as it protects the coastline, inhabitants, and infrastructure from wave energy, storm surges, and other sources of erosion. For these reasons third party coastal plant restoration efforts will be supported through Gulf Coast Marine Life Center’s Coastal Plant production facility.

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The GCMLC Coastal Plants Production facility will be a vital component to the center’s goal in GOM habitat restoration. Researchers from our partner universities, Louisiana State University and University of New Hampshire, are national leaders in coastal plant restoration. Both universities have extensive experience propagating native herbaceous and woody plants for use in coastal wetland restoration, providing marsh grass species to many salt marsh restoration projects, and developing mangrove nurseries to aid habitat restoration initiatives. Working with such organizations, which are currently running many successful coastal plant restoration projects, will enable the Gulf Coast Marine Life Center to bring the best native plant specimens, techniques, and technologies to the Gulf of Mexico for an extensive restoration effort.