The project restored over 375 acres of coastal prairie wetland
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service won a third-place 2017 Gulf Guardian Award in the Partnerships Category. The service is recognized for restoring coastal prairie wetland habitat.
The Sheldon Lake State Park Wetland Restoration partnership has restored over 375 acres of critical coastal prairie wetland habitat at Sheldon Lake State Park in the last 13 years. Investing over 10,500 hours since 2003, the volunteers have been a fundamental component of the restoration. Similarly, student involvement (representing over 3500 hours) has been equally critical for the project and the students themselves, increasing their stewardship role in their park. The long-term success of the restoration has been further validated with recent funding to complete the fifth phase of restoration with an additional 62 acres.
Ben Scaggs, Director of the Gulf of Mexico Program said, “Whether for individual recreational use or as an economic engine supporting a wide variety of jobs and industry, the Gulf of Mexico is a vibrant yet vulnerable ecosystem. Protecting this national resource requires innovative approaches and proactive measures. The Gulf Guardian award winners are paving the way for ‘out of the box’ thinking and replicable practices.”