Terracing at Pierce Marsh in Galveston Bay 2001-2002

Metadata Updated: February 27, 2019

Marsh terracing is used to restore coastal wetlands by converting shallow nonvegetated bottom to intertidal marsh. Terraces are constructed from excavated bottom sediments, and are commonly arranged in a checkerboard pattern of square cells with open corners to form terrace fields. The project was located in shallow estuarine waters, and used bottom sediments or upland soils to construct intertidal areas planted with smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora. We used a quantitative sampling device to compare nekton densities and biomass in habitat types of marsh terraces of three cell sizes at Pierce Marsh in Galveston Bay to a nearby reference marsh. Within terrace cells, density, biomass, and species richness were generally higher in marsh vegetation than over nonvegetated bottom. We also used Geographic Information System (GIS) and high-resolution aerial photography to classify areas into land (marsh vegetation) and water and applied fishery density models to assess fishery support. These models describe finescale distribution patterns for brown shrimp Farfantepenaeus aztecus, white shrimp Litopenaeus setiferus, and blue crab Callinectes sapidus across shallow estuarine habitat types (emergent marsh and shallow open water) of Galveston Bay. We show that populations of most fishery species increase as cell size decreases. However, as cell size decreases, the cost of terrace construction increases much faster than population size. Therefore, terrace fields constructed of medium or large cells would be more cost effective in providing fishery habitat than would terraces composed of small cells. Based on our modeling results, restored sites supported relatively high populations of fishery species compared to pre-restoration conditions. However, restoration sites did not support populations’ equivalent to a reference marsh system. Restoration projects should maximize the area of marsh vegetation and create a high degree of water-marsh interspersion to provide the most benefit for fishery species.

Access & Use Information

Downloads & Resources

No file downloads have been provided. The publisher may provide downloads in the future or they may be available from their other links.


Metadata Date November 6, 2018
Metadata Created Date March 28, 2016
Metadata Updated Date February 27, 2019
Reference Date(s) (publication)
Frequency Of Update notPlanned

Metadata Source

Harvested from NOAA CSW Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date November 6, 2018
Metadata Created Date March 28, 2016
Metadata Updated Date February 27, 2019
Reference Date(s) (publication)
Responsible Party (Point of Contact, Custodian)
Contact Email
Access Constraints Access Constraints: None |
Bbox East Long -94.956894
Bbox North Lat 29.324421
Bbox South Lat 29.19163
Bbox West Long -94.97576
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update notPlanned
Guid gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:10010
Harvest Object Id 96ed31ef-2a33-43ca-a47d-d7af527c37ec
Harvest Source Id 2aed8e29-fc5b-4cde-aa66-fb1118fd705e
Harvest Source Title NOAA CSW Harvest Source
Licence NOAA provides no warranty, nor accepts any liability occurring from any incomplete, incorrect, or misleading data, or from any incorrect, incomplete, or misleading use of the data. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether or not the data is suitable for the intended purpose.
Metadata Language eng
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 2001
Temporal Extent End 2002

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.