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Saving Deadman Island in Aransas Bay

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Posted at 10:48 PM, May 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-08 23:48:57-04

Not many people seem to pay attention to the small islands in our bay systems. But these small islands are what many birds call home.

These small islands are shrinking; that's why The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is stepping in to help.

They are awarding $4,00,000 for the protection and restoration of Deadman Island in Aransas Bay.

"The islands is special because it is a rockery island on Aransas Bay, and rockery islands are some of the most critical needed habitats that we are loosing for multiple reasons." Katie Swanson, the stewardship coordinator for Mission Aransas said.

Swanson says some of the reasons why these islands are quickly shrinking are because of the erosion from storms and rising sea levels.

"Rockery island are kind of like almost like a forgotten habitat but as bird numbers decline and researches are showing the decline and numbers we are understanding the importance of these rockery islands." Swanson said.

That's where The Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program comes in.
They will oversee the construction of the island and monitor the bird population.

David Newstead is the director of The Coastal Bird Program at the Coastal Bay Nestery Program. He says they plan to build a barrier around the island that will make it more resilient to erosion.

"We are going to, the plan is to restore this island some what of its historic size going back to like 20 or 30 years and give the birds a better chance to start to recover." Newstead said.

The project is expected to start within the next year and it will finish in 2027.