US Army Corps of Engineers
Galveston District

Beneficial Use of Dredged Material

 Shoreline Protection at South Padre Island, Texas

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District contributes to the well-being, economic success and quality of life of local communities through beneficial use of dredged material. Annually, the Galveston District dredges approximately 30 to 40 million cubic yards of material. If placed on one city block, the material would create a mountain 14,000 feet above sea level. While undertaking its mission of keeping America’s waterways navigable, the Corps is able to turn that into an added benefit for homeowners, tourists and businesses. The Corps employs environmentally and economically responsible ways to utilize dredged materials to benefit local communities and improve eroded coastlines through beach nourishment and beneficial use programs.

Learn more about the USACE Galveston District's Navigation Program.

Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Workshop

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, hosted a Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Workshop to promote open collaboration between USACE Galveston District staff, local, state and federal resource agency partners and other navigation stakeholders. Click on the links below to access presentations from the workshop.

RESTORE Act Information

Babe's Beach Renourishment Project 2019

Background

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District awarded the $20.9 million maintenance dredging contract to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC, to remove approximately 2.4 million cubic yards of shoaled material from the channel using a hopper dredge as part of the Corps' routine maintenance dredging.  USACE Galveston District is partnering with the Texas General Land Office and the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees to place up to 711,000 cubic yard of material from the project on the beach instead of offshore. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Corps role in the Babe’s Beach Renourishment Project?

A. USACE Galveston District in partnership with the Texas General Land Office and the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees awarded the $20.9 million maintenance dredging contract to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC, to remove approximately 2.4 million cubic yards of shoaled material from the channel using a hopper dredge as part of the Corps' routine maintenance dredging. The contractor is to place up to 711,000 cubic yards of the material from the project on the beach instead of offshore.

Q: Why is this project necessary?

A. The beach building portion of this project is very similar to the 2015 Babe's beach project that the Corps conducted with the Texas GLO and the Galveston Island Park Board. With this current project, approximately $8.2M of the total contract costs are related to the beneficial use beach placement. The renourishment project called ‘beneficial use,’ employs environmentally and economically responsible ways to use dredged materials to benefit local communities and allows the Corps to improve eroded coastlines through the placement of dredged material, bringing value to the nation. Additionally, beach renourishment efforts combat storm surge, prevent coastal erosion, generate economic growth through increased tourism and provide opportunities for recreation.

Q: When is the project going to be complete?

A. The beneficial use beach placement component of the project is a part of a larger maintenance dredging project. The beach placement is expected to start in late August and finish in mid-late September. The overall maintenance dredging contract has a projected completion date of January 2020.

Q: What kind of sediment testing has the Corps performed for the project?

A. The Corps routinely conducts physical and chemical analysis on dredging projects throughout the Galveston District in order to characterize the shoal material to be excavated during routine maintenance dredging. We perform environmental services to include collection and analyses of water and sediment samples from the federally-maintained ship channels. In particular, the sediment testing for the Galveston dredging project and beach placement involved physical and chemical analysis as well as special Tier III bioassay testing, which is our most stringent evaluation. Routine testing allows staff to analyze and evaluate shoal material to determine whether unacceptable impacts would result from dredging operations prior to maintenance of the channel. Through sampling analysis, we are able to review data to make certain we remain in compliance with multiple federal regulations, including the Clean Water Act. The Corps evaluates sediment testing in conjunction with our federal partner the Environmental Protection Agency.

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions about this project?

A. Questions related to construction items such as shoaling, dredging, beach construction, and sediment testing should be directed to USACE Galveston District at swgpao@usace.army.mil.