Saturday, June 14, 2008

Stiffed Again on Dredging

I don't think Gene Gore would mind me using his Surf-Cam picture for a noncommercial purpose such as that huge dredge out there in the channel - the big black ship with the red & white superstructure inside the jetties. We were wonder why the surf was chocolate & cream colored today when body surfing. Now we know - this machine can vacuum up thousands of tons of sand and dump it out the bottom several miles off the jetties in one load. The ship's name is most likely the WHEELER, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers vessel.

Once again, we missed an opportunity to get sand on our beaches, especially in the northern area by the Tiki and La Quinta resorts. On has to question why they are dredging now during turtle season and our high tourist season, but I guess the Port of Brownsville rates much higher than we or the turtles do. The bummer of it all is that dredging probably won't be done this fall because the channel is being dredged today, and won't need it then.

This is the third time. After a string of good luck and largely because of Mayor Pinkerton, we used to get sand on the beach every two years. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina and Rita stripped away a good part of our beaches and it's been going downhill ever since. No beach renourishment has been done since the winter of 2004/2005, aside from some very ineffectual trucking.

I am outraged, and question the so-called consultant who actually "found" sand up by Mansfield Pass. Let me ask - what is in the dredge right there? And isn't that OUR tax dollars at work and they're dumping perfectly good beach sand offshore? This poor sandbar; sometimes I have to wonder.


Rob Nixon said...

There have been reports of the hopper dredge sneeking in durung high tide and dumping sand in the La Quinta/Tiki area.

Sam said...

Whoa, that would be awesome if true, Rob. I think the Wheeler needs 14 feet of draft but hey, anything would help. Haven't seen it today (Tuesday) though.