Babe's Beach Nourishment Project 2021
This $12 million project adds sand dredged from the ship channel to nourish the area known as Babe’s Beach and expands the beach further west.
The project begins west of 61st Street, heading west. Cubic yardage (CY) for the project depends on the amount of material the USACE can dredge for the job.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Galveston Park Board, City of Galveston, and the Texas General Land Office (GLO), and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act).
- Crews begin mobilizing ocean pipe and equipment in the summer of 2021.
- USACE begins placing the sand when the dredging ship arrives.
- Once sand placement begins, crews work 24/7 to complete.
- The project is estimated to take up to 123 days for beach construction (or 4 months).
The dredging ship dredges in certain reaches of the Houston-Galveston ship channel, sails to the ocean pipe, and hooks up to the pipe. Finally, the dredge ship pumps the dredged sand to the designated beach and heavy equipment moves the material to match the engineered design documents. This process repeats until the USACE completes its dredging. Not all the dredging material makes it to the beach. Only the beach-quality material is placed on the beach.
- Wide, healthy beaches serve as vital protection from storm surges.
- Wide beaches provide more recreation area for beachgoers.
- A wildlife monitor is ensuring the safety of the wildlife in the work areas.
- USACE rigorously tests sand before its placed on the beaches to ensure it meets federal and state standards.
- New sand is initially darker and lightens over time
- GLO Coastal Erosion & Planning Response Act (CEPRA)
- City of Galveston Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) 4B Sales Tax
- GLO Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA)
- This project was paid for [in part] with federal funding from the Department of the Treasury through the State of Texas under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act). The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the State of Texas or the Department of the Treasury.
The Galveston Park Board is working with the GLO to renourish the Historic Seawall beaches from 12th Street to 61st Street. This project is also scheduled to begin in fall 2021 and is estimated to take approximately nine months to complete.
More on the public entities involved and their role:
US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE): The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District plays a key role in America’s well-being by keeping waterways open for navigation and commerce along an area spanning 50,000 square miles along the Texas coast from Louisiana to Mexico. The Galveston District provides flood risk management, navigation, and emergency response support; regulatory services; environmental stewardship; and, recreation services. For more information, visit the District’s website at https://www.swg.usace.army.mil/. They dredge over 25 million cubic yards per year, which is 10 percent of the national total. This dredging deepens and maintains channels to handle larger ships and increased traffic.
Texas General Land Office (GLO): The GLO’s central role is to manage Texas’s publicly owned lands, including Texas’s public beaches. This role includes managing the Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan. This plan is an ongoing, state-led coastal planning effort coordinated by the GLO that seeks to restore, enhance, and protect our Texas coast. The Plan recommends specific coastwide and regional projects to provide solutions to restore, enhance and protect coastal habitats, infrastructure, and communities.
Galveston Park Board of Trustees: The Park Board is a catalyst for beach nourishment projects, working with State and Federal agencies to develop projects, maintain federally required permits, solicit project funding, and serving as the local counterpart agency. For more information on the Park Board of Trustees, please visit www.galvestonparkboard.org.
City of Galveston: The City of Galveston provides numerous essential functions for its residents, including water and sewer, emergency services, recreation, and maintaining parks and green spaces. For the beach nourishment projects, the City’s Industrial Development Corp (IDC), funded through the voter-approved 4B Sales Tax, provides matching local funds for Babe’s Beach. The 4B Sales Tax is allocated to four designated silos: beach remediation, economic development, parks and park facilities, and public infrastructure (street, sewer, and drainage).