Stantec selected to lead planning for Port Aransas habitat restoration

April 25, 2023
The project will restore 13.5-acres of erosion resulting from Hurricane Harvey’s impacts, restoring a nature preserve that has been submerged due to breached shorelines since 2017.

Design and engineering company Stantec announced that it has been selected by the City of Port Aransas, Texas, to lead a restoration plan for 13.5 acres of ecosystems within the Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture. The area has been submerged due to breached shorelines resulting from Hurricane Harvey’s damage in 2017.

The Stantec team will spearhead planning and management of the project to benefit wildlife ecosystems and visitor use, while building resilience mechanisms for future storm surge. In addition to planning, the team will provide sediment identification, analysis of local marsh conditions, and immediate staff mobilization.

As storm surge, sea level rise, and extreme weather events compound the result is financial hardship for coastal communities. Investing in the preservation of wetlands, shorelines, dunes, and beaches, which are natural coastal buffers to rising conditions, can strengthen and build a more robust ecosystem.

“Developing designs that are self-sustaining and that work in partnership with natural processes allows the impact to continue in the long run,” said Stephanie Rodgers, coastal engineer at Stantec. “The Texas coast and barrier island marshes like Port Aransas are valuable and nutrient-rich ecosystems that have some of the highest species diversity in the Gulf of Mexico, making them pertinent to the area’s overall health.”

Stantec will conduct a feasibility study to identify a comprehensive sediment management plan. The plan will include identification of sediment sources needed for the restoration. Preliminary designs based on sediment needs will guide the city’s restoration goals. The team will use numerical modeling to inform future decisions that will affect the environment.

“We are passionate about developing strategies to restore and preserve the Coastal Bend post-Hurricane Harvey, as this ecosystem holds large levels of diversity,” said Luis Maristany, coastal engineer at Stantec. “The ability to manage water levels in the long term is necessary for the area’s sustainability.”

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