Texas Plans Extensive Erosion Prevention Projects Along Coast

September 15, 2009

One year after Hurricane Ike devastated large swaths of the upper Texas Gulf Coast, the state has unveiled a plan estimated at $135.4 million that aims to fight beach erosion in a coordinated effort from South Padre Island to McFaddin Beach, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has announced.

“We’re fighting on all fronts now in the battle against erosion,” Patterson said. “Critically needed projects from South Padre Island to McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge will begin immediately in an unprecedented effort to protect the Texas coast.”

The $135.4 million list of projects was made possible by $25 million the 81st Legislature appropriated to the state’s Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act. Federal matching funds will help pay for the remainder of the costs.

Patterson presented a list of 26 projects. Rebuilding dunes flattened by Hurricane Ike and restoring beaches emaciated by erosion is an investment that will continue to pay returns well into the future, he said.

The largest single project on the list will be a massive beach renourishment that will stretch six miles west of the end of the Galveston Seawall. The $5,914,307 in state money devoted to the project leveraged an additional $40,500,724 for a total project budget of $46,415,031.

“Hurricane Ike dealt a devastating blow to this area, but now we’re going to be able to build this beach back bigger and better than it has been in decades,” Patterson said. “For each dollar Texas will spend on this project, the federal government will spend six. That’s a good use of our Texas dollar.”

Among the projects funded:

  • A $32 million project to restore the dunes along 20 miles of beaches protecting the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge
  • An $18.3 million project to rebuild a dune system on Bolivar Peninsula, as well as a $1.2 million project to renourish beaches on the far west end of the Bolivar Peninsula
  • An $11.7 million project to build more than seven miles of sand dunes, from the west end of Jamaica Beach to the Stavanger Beach subdivision
  • A $200,000 beach renourishment at Rollover Pass
  • A $1 million project to take sand from Park Road 100 and put it on critically eroding beaches in South
    Padre Island

  • An $885,000 project to rebuild previously nourished beaches on the west end of Galveston Island
  • A $1.6 million effort to rebuild dunes that once protected Quintana
  • A $2.3 million project to stabilize the shoreline on Treasure Island
  • A $1.5 million beach renourishment of South Padre Island beaches
  • A $1.4 million estuarine habitat restoration at McAllis Point in Galveston.

The list also includes a test project on South Padre Island, in which a series of low-profile stabilizers will be built underwater and perpendicular to the shoreline in an attempt to capture sand on a critically eroding beach.

A complete list of the coastal rebuilding projects is available on the Texas General Land Office Web site at www.glo.state.tx.us/.

Source: Texas General Land Office

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