In May 2018, the United States Army Corps of Engineers began a maintenance dredge of the Brownsville Ship Channel. The sand from the dredge project is being placed on a nearshore berm near the City’s beach by the dredge ship Mcfarland. It has dredged approximately 226,000 cubic yards of sand and placed it about a half mile off of South Padre Island’s shoreline.
As of last week, the Hopper Dredge McFarland has been released from its mission here in South Padre Island. The nearshore berm renourishment will be continued by Manson Construction Company using the Dredge Bayport.
The Bayport is scheduled to arrive on June 15 and will transport sand from the entrance channel to the placement area for 30 days. During this time, the dredge will add enough material to the berm to bring the total volume to well over 500,000 cubic yards. This state-of-the-art dredge has a more accommodating draft and will allow the Bayport to place the material even closer to the beach.
Currently, the City is working with Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Geological Survey and Partrac on a Particle Tracing Study. The City will be placing 4,400 pounds of coated tracer sand into the nearshore berm. This will be studied to identify how much of the dredged material ultimately finds its way to South Padre Island beaches.
“This study will provide concrete evidence of where the material placed in the berm ends up,” said Brandon Hill, Shoreline director. “This will assist the City in future placements by providing data that can be used to improve our nourishment efforts.”
Credits to SPI Chamber of Commerce and the owner of the photo.