Shoreline Taskforce to monitor effects of dredging project

Special to the PRESS

Presentations on Shoreline Department projects and master planning survey results highlighted the Monday, May 21 meeting of the South Padre Island Shoreline Task Force.

Shoreline Management Director Brandon Hill provided an update on the nearshore berm nourishment project that is currently under way, with the hopper dredge McFarland taking dredged sand from the Brownsville Ship Channel and depositing it at two strategic locations less than a mile offshore. The amount of material to be deployed is projected at 500,000 cubic yards.

“When we’re placing material in the nearshore berm, it is within a height that the wave energy can act upon it,” explained Hill. “When that material is brought onto shore it is spread out longshore and cross shore, meaning it’s brought onto the beach and then it’s spread up and down the Island.”

Hill also described a particle tracing study approved by City Council during their May 16 meeting that will be used to monitor the sand’s movement. “What we will be doing is deploying 2,000 kilograms of a particle tracer that will go on top of the berm, and then as it makes its way to shore, there will be several sampling surveys done where onshore and offshore samples of sand will be taken and tested for this tracer.”

Task Force member Rob Nixon inquired as to whether this would be a one-time event.

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