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South Padre Island beach renourishment project underway

4 months 1 week 19 hours ago Tuesday, May 18 2021 May 18, 2021 May 18, 2021 8:32 PM May 18, 2021 in News - Local

If you've been to South Padre Island recently, you may have noticed heavy construction equipment along the beach.

SPI officials said, in a collaborative effort between the city, county, and US Army Corps of Engineers, the beaches along coastal Cameron County are undergoing a renourishment. 

Portions of the beach impacted by severe weather and other factors are being restored using sand and sediment dredged from the Brownsville ship canal. 

The process of beach renourishment is typically done in one of two ways: The first is an off-shore placement. 

"They'll go a little linear north and drop it for us about off the third, fourth sandbar," Coastal Coordinator for South Padre Island Erika Hughston said. "Close enough to shore where all that sediment will travel inwards and build up our beaches slowly over time."

The second and preferred method is currently being used on the island: On-shore placement. A ship carrying the sediment from the ship channel will hook up to a pipeline on the beach and pump sand and sediment. 

The renourishment project will add up to 150 feet of the beach, something officials said will be great for locals, tourists, and wildlife. 

"It's our first line of storm protection," Hughston said. "It's our biggest barrier when we're coming into this hurricane season."

Hughston said though severe weather impacted the start of the project, they're on track to finish it by the end of May.

Until then, if you're visiting the beach, make sure you watch out for construction signs and stay clear of marked areas. 

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