Posted on June 7, 2023
On June 2, 2023, Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, USACE Commanding General and 55th Chief of Engineers, signed a Chief’s Report recommending the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Coastal Resilience Study for congressional approval. The recommended plan from the study includes:
– Interior breakwaters on the GIWW-side of the barrier islands.
– Earthen berm located behind the interior breakwaters.
– Bayside breakwater on the Matagorda Bay side of the barrier island.
– Barrier island restoration using dredged material from the GIWW, stabilized by marsh plantings.
The plan is estimated to cost $304 million and is 100% federally funded with 35% of those funds coming from the Inland Waterway Trust Fund.
The recommended plan looks to keep the GIWW safe and reliable, which means 80 million short tons of goods and $30.7 million worth of seafood can continue to be transported along this vital waterway.
The plan could be included as a project authorization in the next Water Resources Development Act legislation. Congress would have to pass a separate appropriations bill to fund construction of the project.