Texas General Land Office Announces Effort To Rebuild Galveston Beaches

The Texas General Land Office is announcing a coastal preservation effort in an intiative that will restore a large section of beach, Houston Public Radio's Ed Mayberry reports.

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Texas General Land Office Commissioner Jerry Patterson says this will be the largest coastal preservation effort in Galveston since the creation of the Seawall.ξ It's a $13.5 million project that will restore almost three miles of beach from the west end of the Seawall through the Spanish Grant subdivision.ξ State Senator Mike Jackson says that means placing new sand.

"To acquire that sand and from the place we can locate it and dredge it up and then figure a way to transport it down to put on the beach and it'll be placed down and it's about 200 feet wide.ξ Storms over the years have eroded and this, I think, will be of great economic benefit."ξ

Senator Jackson co-sponsored a bill that created the restoration initiative.

"Texas was way behind the curve in putting together a program to allow us to do beach restoration and we were able to pass a bill--I believe it was '99.ξ The major sticking point, as with just about everything that we do, is in funding."ξ

Jackson says construction should start by the summer of 2008, after contracts are ironed out.ξ He says future funding should be easier.

"We have been able to set aside some general revenue for projects that the General Land Office can use in conjunction with local areas with them doing a match.ξ We've found some ways to work more with the federal government and get them involved, in tapping into some money and hopefully this is a growing project that we'll see better as the years go along."ξ

Jackson says legislators from Brownsville to Port Arthur are working together to find resources for solving beach erosion problems.ξ Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.ξ

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