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Shoring Up a Sanctuary

Every year, thousands of pelicans, terns, egrets and spoonbills nest on Sundown Island, a bird sanctuary in Matagorda Bay on the Texas Gulf Coast. For much of its history, the manmade island had received frequent deposits of dredge material, but a primary source of that sediment was lost eight years ago. Without that replenishment, waves and ship wakes have since reduced the island from near 100 acres to less than 70 acres. To manage this erosion and rebuild the island, Freese and Nichols’ Coastal Services Group provided ecological and engineering design and other guidance for comprehensive shore protection solutions.

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