Graveline Bay Coastal Marsh Restoration
LocationAlabama | Mobile
Service AreaCoastal Marsh
- Saltwater marsh
- Tidal marsh
Ecological SettingCoastal Systems
In 2021, the Town of Dauphin Island secured funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (NFWFGEBF) to restore a coastal marsh habitat in Graveline Bay. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) identified the project as a priority in the Alabama Barrier Island Restoration Assessment Report in 2020. The goal of the project was to restore marsh habitat and the associated species that were lost because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
After Coastal Dredging Company, Inc. dredged approximately 270,000 cubic yards of sand to create 60 acres of marsh mounds, we installed vegetative plantings to restore the ecological integrity of the marsh. Our team planted more than 87,000 marsh plants covering 60 acres. Plant species included Saltmeadow Cordgrass, Smooth Cordgrass, and Black Needlerush. 600 cubic yards of recycled oyster shell from the Alabama Coastal Foundation recycling program were placed on the northern shoreline of the restored marsh by Coastal Dredging Company, Inc.
Back-barrier marsh ecosystems are important, because they provide a diverse habitat for fish and wildlife and protect island and inland habitats during coastal storm events. The completed project provides coastal resilience for the community, which includes new habitat for coastal birds, fish, shellfish, and various other wildlife native to the region. Over the next several years, the marsh plants will begin to grow and fill in the marsh mounds on site. The project will be monitored by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab for the next three years.