wetlands texas Chevron remedies historic damages by restoring important habitats Significant areas of coastal wetlands have been restored and enhanced in Port Arthur, Texas. The largest restoration took place in the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area near the Gulf of Mexico where historic water flow has been brought back into roughly 1,300 acres of wetland.

The other main restoration site is located within the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area where approximately 1,500 acres of coastal emergent marsh plant communities have been restored to historical conditions through the installation of berms and other water control structures.

Almost 90 acres of estuarine intertidal marsh and over 30 acres of coastal wet prairie have also been established by NOAA in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas General Land Office, and the Chevron Corporation.

Coastal wetlands are extremely valuable habitats that provide numerous services for both humans and the environment,” said John H. Dunnigan, assistant administrator for NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “The wetlands restored through this cooperative project will help improve water quality and provide a buffer as tropical storms and hurricanes move onshore.”

The restored wetlands are a way for Chevron to compensate the public for the injury caused by the Clark Chevron refinery in Port Arthur. The refinery, which commenced production in 1902, caused substantial injury to natural areas and waterways inside and adjacent to the processing plant by releasing hazardous substances into the environment.

These completed projects will not only provide habitat benefits to the fish and wildlife of the region, but will also enhance public use and outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Wildlife Management Area manager Jim Sutherlin.

The restoration is a part of NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation and Restoration Program. Through this program, NOAA works with industry, agencies and communities to restore environments harmed by oil spills, hazardous substance releases and ship groundings. Last year, the program settled nearly 200 natural resource damage assessment cases, generating almost $450 million for restoration projects.