USACE Galveston District begins beach renourishment at South Padre Island, Texas

Published Nov. 5, 2012

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (Nov. 5, 2012) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District partnered with the Texas General Land Office, Cameron County and the City of South Padre Island to renourish approximately one half mile of South Padre Island’s beaches using beach-quality sand harvested from a local dredging project.

A large ocean-going hopper dredge, with pump out capability, began dredging operations Nov. 3 to use material originating from the Brownsville Harbor navigation channel to renourish Texas’ famed spring break destination.

“The dredge will work for 20-30 days dredging the Brownsville Channel between the jetties pumping material on Isla Blanca Park and the beaches of South Padre Island,” said Alicia Rea, a project operations manager with the Corps’ Galveston District.

According to Rea, approximately 300,000 cubic yards of dredged material will be placed on Padre Island beaches.

“This dredging project provides multiple benefits with lasting impacts on the South Texas economy,” said Col. Christopher W. Sallese, USACE Galveston District commander. “Not only do we take care of our mission of keeping America’s waterways navigable, our beach renourishment efforts combat storm surge, prevent coastal erosion, generate economic growth through increased tourism and provide opportunities for recreation.”

The beach nourishment project called ‘Beneficial Use,’ seeks to employ environmentally and economically responsible ways to use dredged materials to benefit local communities explained Rea, and allows the Corps to improve eroded coastlines through the placement of dredged material.

“It’s just common-sense for the state and the Corps to work together on projects like this when we can,” said Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. “When we work together, these dredging projects can help build beautiful beaches in a very cost-effective way.”

The Corps awarded the $3.4 million contract Sept. 27 to Weeks Marine Inc. Work is scheduled to be completed by mid-December in order to avoid both the turtle nesting season and spring break 2013.

The USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. The district is directly responsible for maintaining more than 1,000 miles of channel, including 270 miles of deep draft and 750 miles of shallow draft as well as the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates.

To learn more about dredging on the Texas coast, view our four-minute video at For more information about beneficial use of dredged material, visit the USACE Galveston District website at Find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter,

Release no. 12-060