Over the years there have been many Galveston beach expansion projects that have added a lot of sand and space to the beautiful beaches of Galveston. If you haven’t been to Galveston Island in a few years, then the beaches along the Seawall will probably look a lot different and more spacious!
How It’s Done
One of the common ways in Galveston that beach expansions are done is by the use of very large and long pipes to mine underwater sand. These pipes reach deep underwater in the Galveston Ship Chanel just East of the South jetty. The sand comes out of the pipes very dark in appearance as it was underwater for a long time, then over time it bleaches to a beautiful, light color.
Why It’s Done
Beach nourishment projects are important for a few key reasons: they create more space for beach-goers and they serve as a necessary preventative to erosion. Galveston is very proud of our beaches and recognize they are a vital part of the community and economy, so more space is essential. In addition to the Seawall, larger beaches also help with protecting the city from storm surges.
Beach Expansion in 2016
This entire project had 3 major installments, starting in May 2015 with more than a half-mile of beach added west of the Seawall at Dellanera RV Park. The second expansion was in November 2015 with more than 15 blocks of brand new beach along the Seawall west of 61st Street.
The third expansion was done in 2016-2017 and spanned from 12th Street all the way to 61st Street. The Galveston Park Board partnered with the City of Galveston on a 19.5 million dollar expansion that begin Fall 2016 and was completed in Spring 2017. This was Texas’ largest beach nourishment project, consisting of about 1 million cubic yards of sand mined from the Galveston Ship Chanel. This four mile stretch of beach widened the beaches up to 150 feet and created an additional 20 blocks of beach alongside the Seawall.
A 36-inch pipe remained on the beach during the “pipeline dredge” process as crews worked tirelessly to meet the deadline. Stewart Beach acted as a storage house for the project materials during the renovation, but the beaches remained open.
“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,” said Park Board Executive Director Kelly de Schaun.
When you combine all three projects, it adds up to more than $44 million that has been invested into the Galveston coastline.
Beach Expansion in 2019
In August 2019, a 20.9 million dollar project brought roughly 711,000 cubic yards of sand to Galveston beaches. This was, again, brought in from the Galveston Ship Chanel and piped in to what’s known as Babe’s Beach: the area west of 61st Street towards 83rd Street.
If you’re planning on vacationing to Galveston, consider Ryson Vacation Rentals. We have beachfront rental properties so you can enjoy some of the 32 miles of beach on the island. Or consider in town vacation properties near these popular beaches that have been expanded in recent years.