Coastal Restoration Project Earns PEP Stewardship Award

Coastal Restoration Project Earns PEP Stewardship Award

POSTED ON 04/18/18

Thompson Engineering and our client, the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, were recognized Tuesday, April 17, 2018 with a Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP) Environmental Stewardship Award. The award recognized work to restore the northern tip of Mon Louis Island, a coastal marsh at the mouth of East Fowl River in South Mobile County. The area was severely eroded and close to breaching, an issue that would have put wildlife and human lives in danger.

Coastal marshes provide critical habitat essential to native species and local fisheries. The marsh also serves as a buffer, protecting homes and infrastructure from storm tides and wave action. Primary goals of the project included stabilizing the shoreline along the bay side of the northern tip of Mon Louis Island and enhancing aquatic, wetland, and upland habitats.

Based on extensive research, Thompson recommended and completed the following solutions to meet project goals:

• Build a rock breakwater to protect the existing and restored marsh,
• Dredge the Fowl River navigation channel as a safety and recreational benefit, and
• Create four acres of new marsh to enhance habitat.

The resiliency of the site was tested months after completion when Hurricane Nate swept the coast. A post-storm inspection revealed the marsh was intact, proof of immediate project benefits. Thompson is working with a team to monitor the project for five years to document the success of plant and wildlife development.