Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, at a news conference on the western end of the Galveston Seawall, today announced $135.4 million in coastal protection projects, which he described as an ambitious effort to take the fight against beach erosion coast-wide, in a coordinated effort from South Padre Island to McFaddin Beach.
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“We are here today to make a really positive announcement, not just for the Texas coast and Galveston, but for Texas,” Patterson said. “What is good for the Texas coast is good for Texas.”
Patterson said that 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, but “we’ve got projects in Jefferson County, Nueces County, Cameron County, Brazoria County - that are up and down the Texas Coast”.
“Thank you commissioner,” said Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas. “Thank you for bringing this project to fruition.”
“I’m proud to be here today,” said Texas State Senator Joan Huffman. “During the session all of us here had to do a little bit of wheelin’ and dealin’, to get the match money that was needed so that all these millions could be spent.”
“One of the things to be thankful for today is that in the past we wouldn’t spend $135 thousand on the Texas coast, much less $135 million,” said Texas State Representative Craig Eiland. “For that we have to be thankful to our inland representatives in the Legislature all throughout Texas who really came to the rescue during this session of the Legislature.’
Texas State Representative Larry Taylor, who represents the northern portion of Galveston County agreed with Eiland.
“I am here today because I believe in regionalism,” Taylor said. “What’s good for one part of our region is good for all of us. What’s good for Galveston Island is good for the mainland and frankly what is good on the Texas coast is good for all of Texas.”
“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
- $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
- $200,000 beach renourishment at Rollover Pass
- $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.