GALVESTON, Texas (July 31, 2012) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District was recognized today with the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council's Nature Service Award for its ecosystem restoration initiatives at the Corps Woods and the East End Lagoon Project in Galveston, Texas.
“This is a tremendous honor for our district to be recognized with this award,” said Col. Christopher Sallese, USACE Galveston District commander. “The state of our environment is always at the forefront as we plan projects within our local communities and our Galveston projects are two great examples of what we can accomplish when we collaborate with our partners.”
The GINTC President Diane Olsen applauded the district for protecting the heavily wooded strip of land located on the island’s East End and for efforts made toward keeping wild spaces protected for both animals and people alike to enjoy.
“Working together we cannot only preserve precious natural landscapes but also find ways to make them accessible for people to enjoy and learn from and we look forward to working together for this common goal," said Olsen.
As part of the USACE Galveston’s beneficial use site that was developed using dredged material extracted from the Houston Ship Channel, the Corps Woods and the East End Lagoon Project quickly became pristine habitats for wildlife and a favorite destination for migratory birds.
“Once the Corps Woods was identified as a prime habitat for wildlife to flourish, my Regulatory Branch staff worked to partner with the City of Galveston, Galveston Parks Board, Galveston Chapter of the Houston Audubon Society, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and TxDOT to protect and preserve the property,” said Sallese.
According to Ted Eubanks, co-creator of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, the Corps Woods preservations efforts have paid off and continue to provide birders with exceptional opportunities to sight many species in one visit.
“The Corps Woods and the East End Lagoon represent district projects that support an array of nationally important environmental goals, including restoring ecosystem health; conserving and improving habitats for plants, fish and wildlife; protecting and restoring rare, threatened and endangered species; providing conservation and education; keeping the nation’s waters clean; and achieving no overall net-loss of wetlands,” said Sallese.
Each year, the USACE Galveston District dredges approximately 30 to 40 million cubic yards of material from Texas channels to fulfill its mission of keeping waterways open for navigation and commerce. The material collected is often used for ecosystem restoration projects.
“It’s imperative that we continue to work in partnership with organizations such as the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council to ensure that the district’s environmental efforts meet the needs of the community and that we seek to find solutions to challenges,” Sallese said.
For more information on Corps Woods, visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wildlife/wildlife-trails/coastal/upper/galveston-loop-1 or visit the GINTC at http://www.galvestonnaturetourism.org/. To learn more about the USACE Galveston District, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.