GALVESTON, Texas (Sept. 11, 2012) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District’s Wallisville Lake Project suspended lock operations today at the Saltwater Barrier Navigation Lock.
Continued drought conditions on the Trinity River watershed have reduced the river’s natural flow and ability to prevent salt water intrusion upstream. As a result, the Corps has modified operations over the past two months to reduce the movement of saltwater up river.
It has become necessary to close the lock to protect fresh water intakes including those of the City of Houston and Lake Anahuac. We do not expect lock operations to resume until weather conditions improve to support higher river flows.
“We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause to recreational boaters; however, it is important to note the project’s primary purpose is to serve as a saltwater barrier, protecting freshwater sources at the mouth of the Trinity River,” said Supervisory Natural Resources Manager Richard Long, USACE Galveston. “The boat ramp on the west bank of the Trinity River under the Interstate Highway 10 bridge is again available with the completion of construction of the bridge and dredging of the ramp by Chambers County for those wanting to recreate upstream of the saltwater barrier and navigation lock.”
Corps programs such as the Wallisville Lake Project support an array of nationally important environmental goals that include restoring ecosystem health; conserving and improving habitats for plants, fish and wildlife; protecting and restoring rare, threatened and endangered species; providing conservation and education; keeping the nation’s waters clean; and achieving no overall net-loss of wetlands.
For more information and updates concerning lock operations, monitor the USACE Galveston District’s social media sites: Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict and Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEGalveston. Visit us online, www.swg.usace.army.mil.
Release no. 12-049