Marsh Reference Site Ecosystem Assessment

Cypress was contracted by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to perform marsh ecosystem assessment work in support of the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation: Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund program “Utilization of Dredge Material for Marsh Restoration in Coastal Mississippi“.

Our role in this project was to perform ecosystem assessments on reference sites to inform restoration performance metrics and basis for design on future beneficial use marsh creation sites. The ecosystem assessment work focused on measuring marsh topography, vegetation community structure and vegetation community composition at 3 reference sites in coastal Mississippi.  Ecosystem assessment occurred over 3 separate sampling events during December 2016, June 2017 and December 2017, capturing the dormant and growing seasons.  The reference sites were selected to represent a range of site conditions for nearshore estuarine marshes in the Mississippi Sound, from interior tidal creeks, to bay shorelines and a nearshore island.

Future survey events will be performed biannually with a growing season event and a dormant season event. The three sites are distributed across the Mississippi coast with each coastal county containing a site. Site locations include:

  • Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (Jackson County)
  • Deer Island (Harrison County)
  • Bayou Caddy (Hancock County)

In total, 105 acres of marsh were surveyed during each event, collecting spot elevation measurements, plant biodiversity, biomass, and community structure metrics. The spot elevation points were used to generate interpolated elevation surfaces for all 3 sites via GIS analysis.

About Cypress

Cypress Environmental Services (Cypress), LLC, is a small, woman-owned business specializing in engineering, planning, and environmental science from our office in Biloxi, Mississippi. We provide a range of environmental science and engineering services including consulting, construction administration, and construction contracting and are a licensed engineering firm in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Georgia.

Cypress focuses on creating better projects where the built environment meets the natural environment. We stay abreast of current research as well as innovations in products, materials, and techniques to provide the most cost-effective methods to achieve an individual client’s objectives while planning and building projects and developments that work with the environment.

Marsh Assessment
Marsh Reference sea
Marsh Assessment Histogram