On June 2, 2011 the City of Biloxi began excavation along the banks of Bayou Auguste near the intersection of Braun St. and Bradford St. in East Biloxi. This work is part of the Bayou Auguste Greenway Restoration, a multi-phased project to restore tidal marsh habitat and to create an urban nature park with walking trails and piers. The project is a community-based effort with several partners working together to coordinate and execute the master plan. The partners are the Biloxi Housing Authority, the Biloxi Public Schools, the City of Biloxi, the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, Cypress Environmental Science and Management, and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio. Together the partnership has secured over $300,000 in grant funds to perform restoration work on 3 sites along Bayou Auguste. The work activities included in these grants are planning and permitting, debris and garbage removal, invasive species removal, streambank reshaping, native species planting, and site monitoring.
Excavating and reshaping the banks of Bayou Auguste will make a significant visual and ecological impact on this tidal marsh ecosystem. Prior to excavation the streambanks of the bayou ran in parallel, straight lines and many people referred to it as a drainage ditch.
Reshaping the streambanks changes the course of the waterway so it runs in a slightly curved and meandering course. The original U-shaped channel is widened and shallow shelves are created adjacent to the waterway. The altered profile of the streambanks provides ample area to plant native marsh grasses and creates ideal conditions to foster a variety of marine life and water fowl. By altering the course, width, and profile of the waterway we hope to increase the visual appeal of this natural feature while also increasing the amount of wildlife and plant life that inhabit the bayou.
During the first week of construction we had a group of volunteers from Butler Snow help us prepare the site for upcoming work. Erosion control materials were delivered to the site, water quality tests were performed for the month, the extent of grading for marsh creation was flagged and a new project sign was installed. The project sign introduces the project and informs the public of our website which provides additional information on the history and scope of the bayou restoration project. If you would like to know more about this project keep checking this blog for updates and please visit our website here.