A ‘New’ Beach Is Coming To Galveston

The next phase of a massive project to restore Galveston’s beaches gets underway this week. This part of the plan will put a usable beach where there really hasn’t been one before — along 20 blocks between 61st and 81st streets.


The 725,000 cubic yards of sand for the beach comes from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ routine dredging of the ship channel.

“I know, for some people, that brings some anxiety about the potential quality of the sand,” says Kelly de Schaun, the executive director for the Galveston Park Board of Trustees.

The sand for Galveston’s beach restoration comes from the jetties that guide ships to and from the open Gulf, not from the interior of the ship channel. Also, scientists with the Army Corps carefully examine samples.

“They tell me that they take part of the borings back into their laboratories back at the Corps and they see if it’ll ‘grow critters’ — and that’s a technical term, they tell me — to make sure it supports life. So it’s been through a rigorous filtering, or vetting, if you will, of the quality of the sand to be put on the beach,” de Schaun said.

Work on the project begins Thursday, but crews won’t actually start pumping sand until next Saturday, August 22nd.

The 61st to 81st Street beach will be done in about 60 days. It’ll start out 350 feet wide. Wind and waves will eventually bring it down to its final width of 150 feet. Also, de Schaun says the sand will look dark for a while until the sun bleaches it out.

The third phase, the one to replenish the beach along the Seawall between 61stand 10th Streets, is set to begin in December and is expected to be finished in time for Spring Break of 2016.


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David Pitman

David Pitman

Host, Morning Edition

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