The Galveston Park Board of Trustees on Thursday voted to accept a $450,000 state grant for a project to mitigate erosion on the West End.

The grant will aid in the park board’s fourth such project in more than three years. In March, the park board completed a $19.5 million project to replenish sand on the Seawall beach between 12th and 61st streets.

The grant totals $450,000, and the park board will match it with $150,000, according to the grant agreement. The match money comes from another grant from the city of Galveston Industrial Development Corporation.

Officials will hire a contractor to strengthen the dune lines on a 2,300-foot length of beach, between the western end of the seawall and the Dellanera RV Park, documents show.

The grant money will mostly be used to strengthen the dune lines, park board Executive Director Kelly de Schaun said.

“The area at the end of seawall has the highest rate of erosion on the island,” de Schaun said. “The dune has served its purpose. I’m of the opinion that if we didn’t have the dune there, the water would come across (FM) 3005.”

The city, park board and the General Land Office added a half-mile of beach to the area in 2015. That project cost $4.8 million and was funded by the park board, city, land office and private property owners near the RV park.

Much of that sediment eroded, in part because of Tropical Storm Bill, land office spokeswoman Brittany Eck said. That storm made landfall in Texas in June 2015, about a month after Galveston officials and the land office celebrated the end of the first Dellanera beach-building project.

The project also serves a dual purpose of protecting FM 3005, which is an evacuation route off the island, Eck said.

“Continued nourishment will be needed to regularly maintain this area to protect the road and public infrastructure along this stretch,” Eck said.

Park board officials said they didn’t have an official estimate of how much sand eroded because of Hurricane Harvey, which hit Southeast Texas in late August and resulted in devastating flooding to the area. The storm also caused elevated storm surge along the coast, though the highest surge occurred at a point further south.

Most of the sand appears to still be in the system and has not been entirely lost, however, de Schaun said.

The contract with the land office is effective through Aug. 31, 2019, according to the grant agreement.

Samantha Ketterer: 409-683-5241; or on Twitter at @sam_kett


(8) comments

Randy Chapman

Most of the sand migrates west and nourishes beachfront homeowner's private beaches. They aren't supposed to get sand replenished since the state gave them private beaches, but Mother Nature has been their friend.

Ron Binkley

There are no private beaches in Texas. The 2015 sand replenishment did exactly what it was supposed to do. It was supposed to wash down the beach to help with erosion all the way to San Luis Pass. This was a benefit to the entire island.

Randy Chapman

No private beaches? Really? As the shoreline migrates landward, homeowner's land becomes the beach, effectively creating private beaches. Their property pins don't move.

Ron Binkley

Yes, really! There are NO privately owned beaches in Texas. They are all public.

Gary Miller

If the sand were put where Mother Nature wants it it would stay there.

Kevin Moran

The truth is that the sand will always be quickest to disappear at the west end of the seawall exactly because it is at the west end of the seawall. Any honest coastal engineer will tell you that erosion increases on BOTH sides of any structure created to "armor" the beach. The power of the waves is deflected off of the very west end of the seawall and continuously rips away at ANY sand placed there. The erosive effect is worse than at other, unarmored areas of the beach. While it is necessary to protect that stretch, it has always been expensive and it will only grow moreso to keep 3005 from being breached.

Steve Fouga

I don't understand the griping about sand migrating west or, heaven forbid, being used to directly renourish West End beaches.

I've never owned beachfront property, yet I've enjoyed West End beaches as a day-tripper, a tourist, and a resident, since the 50s. I've enjoyed them as a swimmer, hiker, fisherman and cyclist. Sure, sand on West End beaches benefits property owners, but it also benefits tourism and the locals who choose to use it.

Life is short. I suggest enjoying the West End beaches. They're open to the public. [cool]

Jack Cross

A lot of false comments in this thread,The beach in the west end is indeed private, that is why no sand for replenishing it can be done. In 1959 Babe Schwartz helped draft the open beach act. In 2010 Carroll Severance a California lawyer who owned 4 beach properties filed a lawsuit challenging the interpretation of the open beach law. The Act was intended to protect Texas beaches and keep them open to the public. The law held that Texas beaches from the vegetation line to the water belonged to the citizens of Texas and would always be open to the public. Unfortunately, that is not what the Texas Supreme Court decided.
"There was never a line of testimony under oath in front of anybody on the Severance case before the Supreme Court of the state of Texas.
The Texas Supreme Court ruled in her favor, Ignoring century old Law and Closes Beaches to the Texas Public. The Texas Land office is now taking it a step further.
The law defines buildable homes is beyond the defined beach from mean low tide to the vegetation line. The land office is not allowing property owners to build their own vegetation line, thus making beach property that was declared not buildable to now buildable. It’s all about money and taxes.

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