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.
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.
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.
During rain events, portions of the water falling on land either collect on surfaces, filter into the substrate, or produce runoff flow from higher to lower elevations over ground surfaces or through stormwater drains and sewers where such systems are present. Rainwater 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 nearshore 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.
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.
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.