MATAGORDA, Texas (AP) - One of the largest deep sea oyster reef restoration projects ever done in the Gulf of Mexico is underway off the Texas coast.
Nature Conservancy restoration expert Mark Dumesnil says the agency is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other groups to rebuild what was once the 400-acre Half Moon Reef in Matagorda Bay.
The reef was destroyed by overharvesting, changes to the salinity of the water, a hurricane and other factors.
The $5.4 million, two-phase project will lay 32, 650-foot-long rows of limestone boulders on a 54-acre plot. Dumesnil says the hope is for oysters to colonize the reef and help it reach the 6-foot to 7-foot height it once was.
The reef will revitalize the ecosystem and provide a robust natural barrier from hurricanes.