Austin, Texas (PressExposure) September 14, 2008 -- Cedar Bayou is a natural pass that was intentionally closed during the Bay of Campeche oil spill off the Texas coast to prevent oil from entering local bays, and while there have been a couple of attempts to re open it, those efforts have unfortunately failed.
Texas coastal anglers and birdwatchers continue to question why the effort to restore the Cedar Bayou and Vinson Slough pass has faced so much opposition; the average angler understands that this pass is very beneficial to the fish and wildlife in the area.
"On my most recent trip I got to see nothing but a seething cauldron of disease infested waters, I was literally afraid to wade fish for fear of Vibrio. The water is extremely hot with no sign of flow, and little sign of life in the far back end of the channel. What I fail to understand is how the government that forbids building in certain areas due to the "environmental impact" can allow this to happen." says one Texas angler.
Another angler adds "While it was open the fishing was phenomenal, we'd catch redfish, flounder, trout, mackerel, shark and various other species on a regular basis. And as it began closing this last time we'd wade fish the channel and see countless crab's, schools of mullet, and other baitfish making there way through the pass. Now that it's closed that's all changed, we were there last weekend and it's like a different place, there is noticeably less life on the bay side, and the water in the channel closest to the backside of the beach was completely void of life."
Cedar Bayou and Vinson slough provide the only conduit for circulation and water exchange between the Gulf of Mexico with 20,000 acres of wetlands and 7 bays in the Texas Coastal Bend Bay System. The intent of re-opening Cedar Bayou is to re-establish this pass as a route for migrating marine species and subsequently improve the fisheries of Mesquite Bay and the surrounding bay system. Additional benefits will include enhancement of salt marsh areas through improved circulation and stabilization of salinity during times of drought or heavy freshwater inflows. When Cedar Bayou and Vinson Slough are open, they have been shown to regulate the water quality of the bays and wetlands and improve populations of aquatic and other wildlife. Since approximately 1979, the conduit provided by the Cedar Bayou / Vinson Slough hydraulic system has been closed by both natural and man-made factors, which has lead to the decline in the health of the wetlands, a decrease in the water quality of the bay system, and an overall reduction in the populations of wildlife in this coastal area. This goal of this project is to reestablish the historical hydraulic connection provided by Cedar Bayou and Vinson Slough between the Gulf of Mexico with 20,000 acres of wetlands and the Texas Coastal Bend Bay System by dredging a tidal channel through the now-closed mouth of Cedar Bayou, and connecting the Cedar Bayou channel to 20,000 acres of wetlands via Vinson Slough. This project is not a navigation improvement project, but focuses on conservation, protection, and restoration of the Texas Coastal Bend area. Lynn Edwards with Save Cedar Bayou Inc. has been jumping through the various hoops for years in an effort to restore this pass, her sheer determination and fortitude to fight for what's right has inspired others to get involved, and the proverbial snowball effect has ensued. Over past months, over 1200 signatures have been gathered, along with letters of support from concerned citizens throughout the state of Texas. And as the time draws near for CORP to open up for public comments, her supporters are more determined than ever to see this pass restored.