USACE Galveston District to begin beach renourishment project at South Padre Island

Published Oct. 7, 2015
GALVESTON, Texas (Oct. 7, 2015) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District partnered with the Texas General Land Office and the City of South Padre Island to begin a beach renourishment project this week using beach-quality sand harvested from the Brazos Island Harbor Jetty and Entrance channels in South Texas, maintenance dredging project.

“We’re very excited about this year’s beach renourishment project,” said City of South Padre Island City Manager Bill DiLibero. “The timing for the project is perfect since we will be able to deposit the sand on the beach rather than off shore, which has been the case for other renourishment projects. We will be getting twice the amount of sand as a result of the scale of the project.”

The district awarded a $6.5 million contract earlier this month to Weeks Marine Inc., to remove approximately 651,000 cubic yards of sandy material using a pipeline dredge to clear the navigation channels.

The Corps is expected to pump approximately 651,000 cubic yards of dredged material originating from the Brownsville Harbor navigation channel to renourish approximately three quarters of a mile of Texas’ famed family beach vacation destination.

“Our partnerships with the City of South Padre Island and the Texas General Land Office, and their instrumental cost-sharing participation, will allow the Corps to conduct the largest beach nourishment project undertaken at South Padre, providing multiple benefits with lasting impacts on the South Texas economy,” said Seth Jones, an operations manager with the USACE Galveston District’s Navigation Branch. "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,’ employs environmentally and economically responsible ways to use dredged materials to benefit local communities explained USACE Galveston District Project Engineer Nicholas Perez, and allows the Corps to improve eroded coastlines through the placement of dredged material.

“The beaches on South Padre Island are the city's jewel,” said DiLibero. “We work hard to maintain a high quality beach and dune environment. We have a nationally recognized dune protection program that receives regular accolades from the Texas General Land Office and the Corps. Our beach and dune maintenance program requires a balance of environmental protection and public education as many of the visitors and property owners do not recognize the benefits of dune protection and beach enhancement. Adding more sand to the South Padre beaches helps the city better protect our coastal resources and the residential and commercial properties located on the Gulf Coast.”

Contractors are scheduled to mobilize equipment this week with an estimated completion date of February 2016. 

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Release no. 15-063