The first of 1 million cubic yards of sand has been pumped onto the beach, in a $19 million project to replenish over 3.5 miles of beach along Galveston's seawall.
The new project between 12th and 61st is being funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Texas General Land Office, and the City of Galveston. When complete in May, the beaches along this four-mile stretch are expected to be widened by 100 to 150 feet.
The Galveston.com Sand Cam located on Murdoch’s Bathhouse is currently pointed east so that the early progress can be watched from anywhere in the world.
The project is using a “pipeline dredge” process that requires a 36-inch pipe to remain on the beach while crews are active. Pipes and pumps will move sand from the Galveston Ship Channel at Big Reef (east of East Beach) to the project site. The staging area for the project is located at Stewart Beach, where construction equipment, pipes and pumps are housed. Residents and visitors will be able to access the beaches during the project. Construction pipes will be covered by special ramps to allow the public access to the coast.
This project marks the third sand nourishment project to be undertaken in Galveston in recent months. In May 2015, more than a half-mile of beach was added west of the Seawall at Dellanera RV Park. In November 2015, a second project added more than 15 blocks of brand new beach along the Seawall west of 61st Street. Both projects were recognized by the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association's Best Restored Beaches in 2015 and 2016. The new beach west of 61st Street has since been named “Babes Beach” in honor of one Texas’ most outspoken senators, A.R. “Babe” Schwartz. When combined, the three projects represent more than $44 million invested in the Galveston coastline.
“This beach expansion project continues our mission to increase recreation areas for our visitors and to protect the seawall — and the island — from erosion and future storm surges,” Kelly de Schaun, executive director of Galveston’s Park Board of Trustees said. “Galveston’s beaches are truly Texas’ beaches,” de Schaun said. “People from all over the state come here with their families to make memories. These investments in Galveston will ensure that future generations will be able to make memories of their own.”