When Mobile’s Choctaw Point Terminal was developed, wetlands and water bottoms were unavoidably lost. In response, the Alabama State Port Authority hired Thompson Engineering to design a wetlands mitigation project involving almost 60 acres and nearly 675,000 plants.
Arlington Cove (25.7 acres), North Garrows Bend (17.4 acres) and South McDuffie Island (14.5 acres) had been selected as sites for the restoration and creation of tidal marsh. The mitigation sites required significant soil excavation and removal (500,000 cubic yards) to establish conditions appropriate for a marsh plant community. The topography, soils and local tidal hydrology were evaluated to ensure the creation of a productive marsh with adequate tidal exchange to support fish, macroinvertebrate and wildlife communities typical of upper Mobile Bay. Thompson Engineering’s design included small creeks and pools with tidal input resulting in a diverse habitat of fishery species. The selection of marsh grass species also included a diverse sample, from black needlerush to sawgrass, all fit for local conditions.
In addition to providing a detailed design, construction documents and construction oversight, the Thompson Engineering team also established a monitoring program to ensure a vibrant wetland community and habitat.