As part of a long-term strategy to be good stewards of the coastal environment while protecting Galveston’s No. 1 tourism asset, the Park Board takes on projects aimed at improving recreational experiences and building memories at Galveston’s beaches, preventing the erosion of Galveston’s shoreline and reducing the long-term cost of beach maintenance. The Park Board uses resources such as the Sand Management Plan and their Master Plans as resource documents in the enhancement of amenities.  These projects are also guided by our vision to lead Galveston and Texas in creating a tourist destination that promises an exciting variety of experiences, a high quality-of-life for residents, and wonderful amenities that deliver lifelong memories that make people want to return - and to bring their friends and family.

A New Pavilion for Stewart Beach, Galveston, Texas

At the March 27, 2018 Park Board of Trustees meeting a concept report and drawings for a new pavilion at Stewart Beach, Galveston, TX were presented by Rogers Partners as their final deliverable from work that began in June of 2017. Their presentation provided for the style of the building, potential materials and the overall functional aspects of the program; including operational and administrative spaces, meeting and gathering areas and potential revenue generating areas to offset the operations and maintenance of the facility.

The Trustees unanimously moved to approve the concept report and drawings as they relate to the style, materials and programming for a new pavilion at Stewart Beach. This endorsement will allow staff to continue moving forward with an operations, maintenance and revenue assessment in comparison to an initial construction cost estimate.

If you would like to send a comment or ask a question related to this project please click this link and it will direct you to email Park Board staff. Email the Park Board

Rogers Partners Presentation to Trustees

Beach view of the conceptual new pavilion

Beach view of conceptual new pavilion 03272018

Galveston is poised to receive $10 million in funds for two ambitious projects that will enhance the East End Lagoon (EEL) and keep our beaches healthy.

In December, two Park Board projects – a pavilion at the EEL and a beach nourishment project – were two of the twenty-six projects included in the Texas’ Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MIP), for the RESTORE program, accepted by U.S. Department of Treasury.

Governor Abbott and Commissioner Baker can now begin submitting grant applications for projects based on available funding. What order the projects will be submitted is up to the discretion of the above mentioned offices.

“Galveston Beneficial Dredge”

The beach nourishment project is eligible to receive $4.5 million for the upcoming 2019 beneficial use of dredge material (BUDM) project. The project has a tentative construction start date of January 2019, which requires all funds be secured and available no later than August 2018. The total project cost is approximately $24 million dollars, which includes the $9 million local contribution of which the RESTORE dollars make up half. Remaining matching funds will be provided by the City of Galveston and Texas General Land Office. If the funds are not available in time the project most likely will not be constructed, passing up an opportunity to replicate a project done in 2015 that placed 629,000 cubic yards of sand along Seawall Blvd., which resulted in the creation of nearly one mile of new beach.

“East End Lagoon Phase 1A”

The East End Lagoon pavilion project could receive $1.4 million for the development of an elevated open-air pavilion with tables and benches, restrooms, an ADA-compliant “experience pier,” parking, signage, landscaping and interpretive nature trails. The project protects habitat, preserves the ecosystem, diversifies tourism, and promotes economic and ecologic resiliency. Architectural and Engineering plans have been developed and the Park Board currently holds a building permit to construct this wonderful amenity for the area. In other words, we are ‘shovel ready’ and simply need approval from the Governor’s office. The view and educational opportunities from this pavilion will be a major asset for the Texas coast.

Current Projects

East End Lagoon Nature Preserve Trail Project (CMP Cycle 21)

The Park Board utilized Coastal Management Program Cycle 21 funds to complete a wetland delineation survey, create a topographic map based on delineation results and has built an ADA-compliant interpretative nature trail at the site.  The overall project funding is  $180,000; Texas General Land Office $135,000, Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council $25,000 & Park Board $20,000.  The trail project is complete and provides free accessible parking adjacent to the trailhead.

The topographic map and wetland delineation survey identifies wetland areas within the property that will need to be protected.  The surveyor has completed delineation marker stakes in the topographic boundary survey to accurately locate all the wetlands in the East End Lagoon (EEL).  The wetland markers will be geo-referenced with elevations to the sub-meter and State Plain coordinate system to aid future site planning activities.  Construction of the trail segment begins at the eastern edge of the EEL adjacent to Boddeker Drive and continues west on a meandering path highlighting the site's diversity.  The trail path provides three loops to enjoy depending on the length of intended walk.  The ADA-accessible trail  allows the public to view the surrounding natural habitat and serves to establish a beginning trail footprint into the EEL in support of the EEL Master Plan.  The six-foot wide trail facilitates two-way pedestrian traffic and is scale-able to accommodate future development.  Educational interpretative signage provides a wonderful amenity along the trail.

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Permit Amendments (CEPRA Cycle 9 No. 1616)

The Park Board currently possesses two USACE permits one for the seawall areas and the second for the beaches west of the seawall extending  to 13 mile road. To be effective, existing permits are being amended to incorporate additional resources as they become available and extended to ensure maximum lifespan. The permit updates are nearing completion with the help of consulting firm Atkins.  The overall project cost is estimated to be $250,000; GLO $150,000 & Park Board $100,000.  Estimated completion date 3/2018.

More Information on the Project

Corps permits are necessary for any work, including construction and dredging, in the Nation's navigable waters. The Corps balances the reasonably foreseeable benefits and detriments of proposed projects, and makes permit decisions that recognize the essential values of the Nation's aquatic ecosystems to the general public, as well as the property rights of private citizens who want to use their land. During the permit process, the Corps considers the views of other Federal, state and local agencies, interest groups, and the general public. The results of this careful public interest review are fair and equitable decisions that allow reasonable use of private property, infrastructure development, and growth of the economy, while offsetting the authorized impacts to the waters of the US. The adverse impacts to the aquatic environment are offset by mitigation requirements, which may include restoring, enhancing, creating and preserving aquatic functions and values. The Corps strives to make its permit decisions in a timely manner that minimizes impacts to the regulated public.


Local Dredging Feasibility Study (CEPRA Cycle 9 No. 1621)  

Galveston Island is sand starved barrier island that is largely eroding. The consultants will evaluate the feasibility of a locally managed and operated hydraulic dredge that could provide an over call cost reduction in the final price of beach nourishment and dune restoration projects. The study is nearing completion with the help of consulting firm Moffat & Nichols.  The overall project cost is estimated to be $200,000; GLO $120,000 & Park Board $80,000.  Estimated completion date 12/2017. 

More Information on the Project

The Texas General Land Office (the GLO), in collaboration with the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees (the Park Board) have retained Moffat & Nichol (M&N) to conduct a Local Dredge Ownership Feasibility study (Study) into the feasibility of local dredge ownership. The Study considers a summary of recent costs of federal maintenance dredging and beneficial use of dredged material (BUDM) in Texas, and how these costs compare to the costs associated with local ownership of a dredge. This analysis includes the annualized cost of ownership, utilization, and the potential to increase utilization by partnering with regional stakeholders, advocacy groups, and government entities. Finally, the Study includes the identification of dredging cost factors that could be improved in order streamline the costs of traditional procurement methodologies.

Upland Sand Source Investigation (CEPRA Cycle 9 No. 1628)

Galveston Island is largely erosional, with a very limited supply of sand due to the lack of near shore beach quality sediment with the exception of periodic beach nourishment opportunities. The Park Board is nearing the completion of a sand source investigation to identify and permit new sources of beach quality sand to carry out future projects. The investigation is nearing completion with the help of consulting firm Atkins.  The overall project cost is estimated to be $400,000; GLO $240,000 & Park Board $160,000.  Estimated completion date 1/2018. 

Texas A & M University Galveston (TAMUG) Dune Filter System (CEPRA Cycle 9 No. )

The Park Board has partnered with TAMUG to evaluate potential solutions that could solve two major problems for the Galveston coastline. Water quality issues are a constant struggle following any type of rain event big or small. These events carry accumulated contaminants to the Gulf of Mexico and cause erosion and scouring along the way. TAMUG is beginning the investigation into potential solutions that would address both problems.  The overall project cost is estimated to be $60,000; GLO $30,000 & Park Board $30,000.  Estimated completion date 8/2018.

More Information on the Project

During rain events, portions of the water falling on land either collects on surfaces, filter into the substrate, or produce runoff flow from higher to lower elevations over ground surfaces or through storm water drains and sewers where such systems are present. Rain water runoff from barrier islands, such as Galveston Island, can flow toward the ocean or bay side of the island, respectively, depending on local elevation gradients. Once runoff flows reach ocean side beaches, erosion and scouring of the beach can occur, leading to hazardous conditions for residents and visitors, as well as potential problems for coastal structures due to washing out of material and scour formation with the potential to undermine structural foundations (e.g. Galveston Seawall). Furthermore, surface runoff, particularly during the initial stages of a rain event, mobilizes and carries non-point pollutants and bacteria directly to the beach and near shore waters. Both the erosion and pollution potential of rainwater runoff flows can cause hazardous beach conditions and even lead to beach closures (e.g. due to high Escherichia coli levels) which in turn is detrimental to the coastal tourism industry and residents’ health.

The PB has identified this issue as a priority for further research and investigation into potential solutions for Galveston Island. The PB has engaged Dr. Figlus and his group to initiate this study which includes the quantification of the rainwater runoff issue for Galveston Island and the feasibility assessment of potential mitigation strategies and engineering solutions.

Dellanera Park BMMP Maintenance Nourishment Project (CEPRA Cycle 9)

In June 2015 the Park Board submitted the above project for consideration to the Coastal Erosion Planning Response Act (CEPRA). This  application was the result of a lengthy internal and public meeting vetting process through the Park Board’s Beach Maintenance Advisory Committee (BMAC) and its subcommittee supporting the Galveston Island, Texas Sand Management Strategies.  The overall project cost is estimated to be $600,000; GLO $450,000 & IDC $150,000.  Estimated completion date 8/31/2018.

More Information on the Project

Galveston Island is a tourism driven economy, primarily a beach tourism economy with over 6 million visitors a year to Galveston’s beaches. The majority of Galveston’s beaches are eroding with erosion rates in the Dellanera Park area approaching -5 to -10 feet per year. As a result of this ongoing erosion, the west end of the Galveston seawall is under constant threat of flanking and the risk of failure despite recent redesign efforts following Hurricane Ike. Additionally, Farm to Market Road (FM) 3005 is the only evacuation route for residents of west Galveston during periods of storm surge and tropical weather impacts. The width of the island is very narrow at this point when considering the proximity of the many marshes along the north side of the highway to the bayside of the island and the low nature of the pre storm dune height did little to offer protection.

Through the tireless and united efforts of local officials and the Texas General Land Office in 2015 a publicly funded project was completed on the beaches of west Galveston Island where just 5 years before a Texas Supreme Court decision had resulted in the cancellation of that $42,000,000.00; 6-mile project. Prevailing wisdom said a project using public funding could not be built on Galveston Island and the Dellanera Park- End of Seawall Beach Nourishment/Dune Restoration Project served to disprove that thought.

The currently funded project will build on past successes and place additional sand into the highest eroding section of beach on Galveston Island.

East End Lagoon Public Access / Safety and Planning Project (CMP Cycle 22)

The Park Board will utilize CMP Cycle 22 funds to build an approximately 1,200 square foot, accessible, parking area for a minimum of three (3) vehicles.  Additionally, the Park Board will use funds to develop a detailed site plan that will serve as the baseline for future area enhancements and ADA access improvements.  The overall project cost is estimated to be $55,000; GLO $41,250 & Park Board $13,750.  Estimated completion date 3/29/2019.

More Information on the Project

The parking area will help facilitate year-round use of the launch site and will improve accessibility for individuals previously unable to utilize the area. Bollards will be installed to define the launch area entrance and parking lot and a pathway will be constructed to provide access to adjacent parking areas.  Emergent and submerged marine debris and pilings will be removed to improve public safety to encourage human powered watercraft and interpretive signage will be installed. 

Pending Projects

Planning Assistance to the State (PAS) (Multiple grants and funding sources)

The Galveston District of the Army Corp of Engineers (SWG) has been engaged by the Park Board through the PAS program to further develop the Galveston Island Sand Management Plan. The new version of the Sand Management Plan and other project deliverables would be used to seek grant funds to augment existing funding, support construction, and further investigate potential solutions.  The overall project cost is estimated to be $300,000; Park Board $75,000, IDC $75,000 & USACE $150,000.   

More Information on the Project

Two goals are to add state of the art modeling of structures, such as detached breakwaters, and conduct sand transport field data collection activities to support these numerical modeling efforts; and, provide prototype data to facilitate engineering evaluation and design of future bypassing and back-passing structures to the existing Sand Management Plan.

Babe’s Beach Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Re-Nourishment Project (CEPRA Cycle 10)

With this 2017 CEPRA application the Park Board is seeking to realign the dredging and funding cycles. Specifically, this project proposes to take advantage of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers dredging cycle to economically place a large volume of beach quality sand west of 61st Street.  The Park Board has also been included on the RESTORE MIP for Bucket 1.  The overall project cost is estimated to be $23,900,000; USACE $14,900,000, RESTORE $4,500,000 pending, GLO $3,000,000 & Park Board $1,500,000.

More Information on the Project

The original Babe’s Beach project completed in the fall of 2015 served to reestablish a beach fronting the seawall west of 61st street for the first time since Hurricane Carla in 1961. Conventional wisdom at the time indicated that area was too eroded and the initial investment would be too great to even re-establish a one (1ft.) wide beach. But the Sand Management Plan indicated that strategic placement of even relatively small amounts of sediment could make significant impacts; and the 2015 Babes Beach project was no minor project. Placing approximately 629,000 ydsthe project recreated approximately 15 blocks of new beach that was up to 300ft. wide following construction. The 2015 project was also the first of its kind to utilize material dredged from the Houston Galveston ship channel for placement back on the public beach adjacent to the seawall. Unfortunately, the 2017 dredging cycle will be missed due to the maintenance dredging cycle conflicting with funding cycles.

Back-Passing Nourishment Practices- Beneficially Utilizing Existing Coastal Processes (CEPRA Cycle 10)

This 2017 CEPRA application would build upon the efforts of the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) in the development of the conceptual formation of the project. Included in this effort is the development of an operations manual, agreements, ownership details and feasibility determinations. The overall project cost is estimated to be $300,000; Park Board $75,000, IDC $75,000 & GLO $150,000.

More Information on the Project

This proposed project was first identified through the Sand Management Plan and basically seeks to take advantage of existing coastal processes to relocate sediment from accreting areas to erosional areas. Beaches along Galveston’s east end are documented to be growing as a result of the sediment that drops out of the surf and is deposited in this area. The Bureau of Economic Geology had documented ongoing accretion of at least six (+6ft.) per year along those east end beaches. The Corps of Engineers (USACE) is in the process of developing the conceptual idea of using a “sediment bedload” technology to relocate captured sand from accreting areas to erosional areas. Even though the Plan was finalized in 2015, it is critical that it be continually updated to remain current with the latest technology and research.

Specifically, this proposed project will utilize a “sediment bedload technology” to redistribute a portion of the sediment that naturally accumulates on Galveston’s east end (without negatively impacting this source area) and provide a mechanism for that material to be relocated to areas that can be easily accessed providing a renewable source of sand. An important component of the proposed 2017 CEPRA application is the work the Galveston District is currently undertaking at the renowned USACE research facility in Vicksburg, Ms., the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) to help refine this technology specifically for the Galveston area. Field deployment of a scale model sediment by-passing/back-passing system will take place summer of 2017. The primary purpose of this field experiment is to demonstrate a technology in the littoral zone. Deployment configurations will be selected to calculate potential production rates of by-passing/back-passing technologies and optimize subsequent site selection(s). Data collected will also quantify bed load transport sufficiently for optimization of by-passing/back-passing technologies.

Sustainable Funding Strategies for Long-Term Coastal Restoration in Galveston (CEPRA Cycle 10)

The Park Board of Galveston developed a 50 year Sand Management Plan (SMP) to guide the community moving forward in its decision-making process on addressing beach erosion.  The SMP provided guidelines and various scenarios on quantities of sand and the frequency of construction projects needed. The Park Board now wishes to develop a financial plan that will provide a framework for the organization and its stakeholders to evaluate potential approaches in raising the funds necessary to restore and maintain its beaches that best meets local needs.  The overall project cost is estimated to be $100,000; Park Board $25,000, IDC $25,000 & GLO $50,000.

More Information on the Project

The Park Board of Trustees of the City of Galveston has taken to pro-active steps to develop a science based planning document in cooperation with the USACE research facility in Vicksburg, Ms., However; while having a long-term science based plan is critical for success, if there is not a similar plan to fund the needed actions; then there might as well not be any plan in place. A planning document without the resources to be implemented is another name for a paper weight, or a dusty book on a shelf. With the development of the Sand Management Plan (SMP) to serve as a guide, the Park Board recognizes the importance of the long-term financial planning necessary for the development of a successful program. In other parts of the country, much smaller communities than Galveston have undertaken similar approaches to develop a financial plan. With the help of a specialized consultant they have subsequently been able to put together significant resources, beyond what their local population of 600 – 1,000 residents could ever hope to support by themselves. The Park Board now wishes to develop a this similar approach to financial planning that would provide a framework for the Park Board and its partnering stakeholders to evaluate potential approaches for raising the funds necessary to restore and maintain its beaches that best meets local needs. It is hoped that this plan will contribute to an ongoing, constructive and positive dialogue within the community on approaches that may be appropriate for financing future beach nourishment projects and help facilitate implementation of a funding plan that supports the Galveston's Sand Management Plan.

Master Planning Public Access Along Galveston’s Seawall for Long Term Success (CMP Cycle 23)

Based on this increasing demand the Park Board is proposing a project that would provide a framework for future policy and infrastructure improvements through the development of a long-term master plan for access to the beach across the seawall. The overall project cost is estimated to be $150,000.00; Park Board and IDC $37,500 each and GLO $75,000.00.

More Information on the Project

This proposed master plan would include increasing accessibility to recreational opportunities for all segments of society, identify, map, and quantify the types of seawall access (pedestrian, ADA, stairs, ramps) access for service and maintenance needs, delineate the various permitting steps required to implement additional access locations and provide recommendations on the various access points to include potential design templates for the varying types of access needed. The master plan would create a photographic record of all existing access points, stairways (including those stairs formed into the seawall during original construction), service access points, ADA ramps, pedestrian walkways/paths, bicycle, restrooms, bus/trolley stops, and vehicle access locations. An important goal of this master plan is to increase the number of ADA ramps to the beach, as there is only one currently existing along its length.

East End Lagoon Public Accessibility Parking Enhancement Project (CMP Cycle 23)

The Park Board will utilize CMP Cycle 23 funds to provide for an improved and expanded parking area off Boddeker Dr., where parking has proved to be very limited.  The parking area will help facilitate year-round use and improve accessibility for individuals previously unable to enjoy the recreational experience and provide linkage back to the ground trails that should come on line in the spring of 2018.  It will be an all-weather, signed and striped, minimum 32 space ADA parking area, with parking blocks and perimeter bollard fencing.  The overall project cost is estimated to be $210,000; GLO $126,000 & Park Board $84,000.

More Information on the Project

An accurate and detailed site plan document was developed as a part of CMP-21, and is being used as one of the guiding documents in the layout of this proposed CMP-23 project. Additionally, CMP-23 has been based on the overall EEL Master Plan to provide a thoughtful approach to the design and location of recreational opportunities and the supporting infrastructure to make them viable. This approach is needed to enhance the relatively small area available within the EEL (based on the completed delineation from CMP-21) to construct needed amenities and to ensure there is sufficient spacing between user groups to preserve the natural “feel” of the EEL. The ADA accessible parking area would enable a larger portion of the community to effectively access the trails and adjacent amenities on a more consistent basis without fear of being stranded and would help increase user independence. The all-weather parking area would easily facilitate year-round use and is a major component to accommodate potential future development of the area.

East End Lagoon Phase 1A (RESTORE)

Phase 1A of the EEL project includes the development of an elevated 2,897-square-foot open-air pavilion with tables and benches, restrooms, a 1,374-square-foot ADA-compliant “experience pier” or ramp, parking, interpretive signage and interpretive nature trails. Architectural, permitting and design work for Phase 1A have been completed. The project will be competitively bid out in a sealed bid process once award determination has been finalized.  The project is currently included on the RESTORE MIP for Bucket 1.  The overall project cost is estimated to be $1,410,970.

More Information on the Project

The East End Lagoon (EEL) Park and Preserve is designed to safeguard and make publicly accessible the most ecologically significant parcel of undeveloped land remaining on Galveston Island. The Master Plan for the project envisions a world-class natural recreation area and preserve on 685 acres of city-owned property on the east end of the island. The EEL site features a diversity of habitats from fast-moving waters along the Houston Ship Channel to tidal lagoons and wetlands, coastal prairie grasslands, inter-tidal wetlands, fresh water ponds, sand flats and dunes, and sea grass beds.  The area supports a variety of marine and bird life, including a vast array of migratory birds. The EEL is now used for recreational kayaking, fishing, birding, and other activities but provides no formal facilities. The EEL Master Plan outlines a five-phase approach to developing the site while protecting and restoring natural resources and enhancing the visitor experience.  Additional financial support for the project has been obtained from other agencies. The Texas General Land Office recently awarded a CMP grant for survey work, wetlands delineation and an ADA-compliant trail. Local and regional foundations have also provided significant support for previous planning, delineation and inventory work. According to a 2015 study, tourism is the key driver of business sales, employment and tax revenue for Galveston.  The EEL Project provides an opportunity to increase the tourism economy by both diversifying the island’s offerings and creating direct and indirect employment opportunities. The EEL Master Plan was identified as a priority in the City of Galveston Long-Term Community Recovery Plan. The project supports the goals of the Galveston Comprehensive Plan and the City’s Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan. The EEL Park and Preserve will provide an opportunity to fully interpret the complex interactions between people and nature, industry and ecology, cultural heritage and natural history. It has the potential to become a world-class education and recreation destination that focuses on the unique natural coastal resources of Texas.

Completed Projects

2016-2017 Phase III Beach Nourishment: Seawall East

In October 2016, this $19.5 million beach nourishment project was brought about by a partnership with the Park Board, the City of Galveston’s Industrial Development Corp., the Texas General Land Office and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  The project was completed mid 2017 and provided to replenish and expand Seawall beaches from 12th to 61st Streets with upwards of one million cubic yards of sand.  With the completion of this project the three phases combined represent the single largest beach nourishment project to date in the State of Texas.

2015 Phase II Beach Nourishment: Seawall West

In November 2015, the Park Board unveiled 15 blocks of new beach along the Seawall west of 61st Street. The new beach area, named Babe’s Beach after former Texas Rep. A.R. “Babe” Schwartz, was the result of a $23 million investment and collaborative effort sponsored by the Park Board, City of Galveston and Texas General Land Office with support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District. The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association named Babe’s Beach one of 2016’s top five Best Restored Beaches in America.

2015 Phase I Beach Nourishment: End of Seawall/Dellanera RV Park

During the spring of 2015, the Park Board unveiled a half-mile of newly nourished beach west of the Seawall at Dellanera R. V. Park. The $4.5 million project placed 118,000 cubic yards of sand on the shore, creating an expanded beach and protective dune.  The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association named this beach as one of 2015’s top five Best Restored Beaches in America.

Planning Documents