Texas Congressman, Filemon Vela, has announced that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have awarded $150,000 to the City of South Padre Island as part of the National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF).

These were the only funds awarded in the state of Texas. 

The funds will support the City of South Padre Island’s Feasibility Study and Design of the Laguna Madre Living Shoreline project.

This program will create a bayside living shoreline using an innovative design approach that will encourage ecological diversity and deliver community protection against environmental stressors. 

Also, it will help in the development of intertidal berms to establish pocketed wetlands that aid in the absorption of heavy metals, decreased wave energy, coastal erosion, storm surge buffer, and habitat restoration.

“South Padre Island and the Laguna Madre serve as the first line of defense that protects our region from severe weather from the Gulf of Mexico,” said Congressman Filemon Vela.

“For this reason, it is critical to strengthen the coastal area. Working with federal, state, and local officials over the past eight years, we have focused on resiliency projects, like adding sand to South Padre Island beaches, to reinforce the shoreline. 

“This grant is an important step toward creating the Laguna Madre Living Shoreline that will both protect our communities against the effects of severe weather as well as improve habitats for fish and wildlife. 

“Thanks to NOAA and NFWF for recognizing the importance of the Laguna Madre in safeguarding both the public and the environment in our region.” 

“The City is very excited and thankful for this opportunity to start working towards building up South Padre Island’s bayside resiliency for greater protection against wave action and erosion,” added City of South Padre Island Mayor, Patrick McNulty. “This project has been listed as a Tier 1 project under the Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan, so it is great to have another conceptual project come to fruition.”