Sea Rim State Park receives funding for restoration project

JEFFERSON COUNTY – By Justin Hinton, KFDM NewsSea Rim State Park will receive 9,400 to restore nearly 13 acres of barrier shoreline habitat, prevent continued erosion and preserve critical coastal marsh habitat from salt water intrusion as part of an .8 million funded project announced by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Friday.The funding comes as a result of a settlement reached after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in an effort to remedy harm and reduce the risk of future harm to areas affected by the oil spill.We do everything we can at this level to make things happen, but when we get substantial monies like that, it enables us to do so much more, said park superintendent Ben Herman.Under the coastal dune restoration project, workers will plant native dune vegetation and sand fencing to trap wind-blown sand and accelerate natural dune recovery.Herman says theyve been working on the project for a year, but can only do so much with the resources they have.This is a great start, but you look down here to the west and to the east and there’s none of this, he said. When we get done, it will be 5.3 miles. That’s a lot of fence.He also said the dune line is the only thing that really protects the park, Sabine Pass and Port Arthur from water.Before the storm hit, vegetation used to be 12 feet high, but was brought down after Hurricane Ike.These dunes will come back. Whether we encourage it or not, just depending on the time. We’re tryng to encourage them more quickly, Herman said.Herman said they will also add signage to prevent people from driving on the dunes, eroding them further.You got to keep people off the dunes and keep them from driving on it so it will encourage that dune growth, he said.

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