Dickinson Bay Island II Habitat Restoration

Construction of Dickinson Bay Island

Dickinson Bay Island II Habitat Restoration

Expanding Important Colonial Bird Nesting Bird Habitat

Colonial waterbird nesting habitat for both shore and upland species has been in steady decline over the past few decades along the Texas Coast. To address these losses, the Galveston Bay Foundation, in partnership with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Galveston Bay Estuary Program and Restore America’s Estuaries, enlisted our coastal engineering expertise to deliver engineering services in support of new bird rookery islands. Upon completion of this project, the island will provide numerous benefits to the surrounding ecosystem as well as the local community. 

Phase 1 work started in 2013 and concentrated on collecting data for three potential island construction sites, which included gathering bathymetric and magnetometer surveys, conducting geotechnical investigations, and performing biological site reviews. Using this information, the team chose two locations for further assessment. Phase 2 included additional geotechnical analysis and development of preliminary designs for two islands — one ground nesting and one upland/shrub nesting. In addition, we assisted GBF with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting.  

In 2015, the Natural Resources Damage Assessment Trustees in Texas selected the upland nesting island project as part of the restoration work to offset impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Soon after we worked on delineating a new island location at a former spoil area with shallower water and firmer bottom conditions to offset project costs. The final design of a 9-acre island that included both shore and nesting habitats was completed in 2019.   

The Texas General Land Office oversaw construction of the project. After delays from the COVID-19 pandemic, construction on Dickinson Bay Bird Island II began in late 2021 and was completed on May 14, 2022, creating a new colonial bird nesting habitat in Dickinson Bay for a variety of species. GBF will oversee the next phase of the project, which includes installation of vegetation to promote nesting and foraging for area wildlife, as well as 5 years on monitoring.

Construction of Dickinson Bay Island
Galveston Bay Foundation, Texas General Land Office

Dickinson, TX
United States

9-acre island