BVA Experience AL Living Shoreline
Tidal Marsh Restoration for the Alabama State Port Authority Choctaw Point Terminal Facility in Mobile Bay, Alabama
Barry A. Vittor & Associates, Inc. assisted Thompson Engineering, Inc. in the design of tidal marsh restoration projects at three locations in the upper Mobile Harbor; these sites produced approximately 56 acres of marsh habitat to compensate for impacts attributed to construction of the Choctaw Point container port at the mouth of the Mobile River. Our areas of responsibility included mapping of wetland boundaries in the Arlington Cove site, and characterization of marsh vegetation within that site and within the McDuffie Island and North Garrows Bend sites. We identified appropriate marsh plant species to be included in the planting plan, as well as recommended transplant sources and planting densities. Vittor & Associates provided inspection services during the earthwork phase of marsh restoration and during planting of the prepared marsh sites. We performed five years of monitoring of marsh success, in accordance with the approved wetland mitigation plan. Monitoring involved assessment of transplant survival and growth, habitat diversity and utilization by fisheries and wildlife, marsh quality using fringing marsh HGM guidelines, sediment characterization and benthos, and control of invasive plant species. The mitigation projects exhibited successful establishment of fully functional tidal marsh habitat in less than five years.