The Good News in Ike’s Aftermath

Passport to Texas from Texas parks and Wildlife and the Wildlife Restoration Program

Hurricane Ike rendered Texas coastal communities, neighborhoods, and the surrounding landscape unrecognizable.

Hurricane Ike did a lot of damage. Not only structural damage to the people who lost their homes, to the ranchers—and also did a lot of devastation to habitat.

Habitat losses, particularly those to wetlands, were substantial. Yet, Parks and Wildlife waterfowl program leader, Dave Morrison says, not all is lost.

You look down the road a few years, and I think you’re going to see some benefits from this hurricane. One of the things that you see that we have been fighting and struggling for several years with invasive species—noxious weeds that we just could never get a holt of. Well, guess what? You put salt in those systems, and they’re dead.

Winter forage for migrating waterfowl also went the way of the noxious weeds.

There’s not much food out there. It’s going to be difficult for them. But, this storm did a lot of good from the perspective that you’ve seen through time, things [open wetlands] close in. With all the high salinities now, it’ll kill all that vegetation. The seed base is still there, so the important plants that ducks need are still going to be available because the seed base is still in that substrate; that’ll rebound.

Morrison says all we need now is rain to flush out the systems so nature’s recovery can begin.

That’s our show… with support from the Wildlife Restoration program… providing funding for wetland conservation through the Private Lands Enhancement Program.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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