SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — At most marinas, boaters are able to enjoy easy access to facilities and important resources, such as fueling up, grabbing a bite to eat and more after a long day spent on the water.
The possibility of creating one of these specially designed harbors for South Padre Island is currently being looked into by the SPI Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
This month, the EDC Board of Directors gave an update on its deep water marina study.
The marina feasibility study is being conducted by Edgewater Resources, a coastal and waterfront design and engineering company.
According to EDC officials, the study helps in finding out different items, such as seeing if the project is viable and where’s the best location to have the marina.
In June, the city council approved a $53,300 budget amendment from excess reserves to fund the market feasibility study for a deep water marina.
According to EDC board member Gayle Hood, Edgewater Resources looked at several marinas and gathered data based on the questions they had.
The study has initial market overviews for SPI, Port Isabel, Port Aransas and Corpus Christi.
Different docking areas around the Island were analyzed in the study, such as The Shores, the Boardwalk Condominium Yacht Club, and Sea Ranch Marina.
The market overview for the Island shows it currently has mostly smaller, shallow draft vessels in the area. Additionally, the overview shows other aspects of the Island, such as it having all private facilities, relatively low to moderate slip rates and low capacity for additional deep draft vessels.
According to the EDC board, some general program considerations include — enhancing viability of SPI tourism, minimizing the environmental impact, having a mix of seasonal and transient slips for deep draft vessels, maximizing public access and funding partnership potential and creating a waterfront gateway to the Island.
“We want to create this ambiance or this feeling as you come across the Causeway and you look over there and there’s this gorgeous marina that’s our gateway,” Hood said.
According to the study, a prime location for the city to create a marina is between the Queen Isabella Memorial Bridge and Pier 19 restaurant.
The study came up with three concept options in this area for the marina project.
Out of the three concepts, concept C has a flexible broadside mooring with habitat island network, requires the least excavation, has the least environmental impact, the most habitat enhancement, potential to contribute to flood mitigation, most flexible phasing and the most potential for funding partnerships.
Hood said the only negative aspect of concept C is that the access was a little less convenient.
Some of the next steps Edgewater Resources is going to take include — incorporating feedback to refine preferred concepts, preparing initial cost estimates, making a permitting feasibility analysis, additional site investigation and market analysis, developing funding partnership opportunities and drafting an implementation plan.
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