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.
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.
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 yds3 the project recreated approximately 15 blocks of new beach that were 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 Corps 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.
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 with 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.