Brazoria County Commissioners approved this Resolution on September, 2011.
WHEREAS, the San Bernard River runs for approximately 120 miles through Texas, winding through Brazoria County ending at the Gulf of Mexico; and
WHEREAS, the San Bernard River is an economical viability for Conoco/Phillips, using this river to transport goods via barges, as well as a recreational area enjoyed by our many Brazoria County residents for boating and fishing; and
WHEREAS, studies completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined the mouth of the San Bernard River had moved an average of 1.5 feet per day since 1989, resulting in total closure by late 2005, approximately 4 miles southwest of the original mouth; and
WHEREAS, the goal of these studies is to maintain flow through the San Bernard River so that the current at the intersection of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and the San Bernard River poses minimal hazards; and
WHEREAS, studies also determined the closure of the original mouth of the San Bernard River is having some serious negative impacts on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and its safe, efficient operation by causing increased currents at the Brazos Floodgates at levels that hinder tow passage through the narrow floodgate structure; and
WHEREAS, because of these increased risks and the number of accidents caused from this, the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association is in full support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers re-opening the San Bernard River original outlet to the Gulf of Mexico; and
WHEREAS, the mouth was re-opened by a coalition working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in March 2009, but the unanticipated drought has prevented sufficient flushing rain events to move the accumulated sand from the mouth, resulting in much quicker shoaling than anticipated.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Brazoria County Commissioners Court hereby approves this resolution to join with our Federal and State Officials in supporting the efforts and seek funding to re-open the Mouth of the San Bernard River.
A year and a half later, this Resolution is on the Brazoria County Commissioner's Court agenda to be approved on Feb 12, 2013.
WHEREAS, Studies performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined the closing of the Mouth of the San Bernard River was causing serious negative impacts to the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW); and
WHEREAS, the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association stated in 2009 that the backup of tidal flows and floodwater in the GIWW at the Brazos Floodgates resulted in delays and damages to shippers and barge carriers of over 3 million dollars annually; and
WHEREAS, to alleviate the serious safety hazards at the Brazos River Floodgates the USACE along with Texas Department of Transportation as the Project Sponsor funded the project to dredge the Mouth of the San Bernard River which was completed in March of 2009; and
WHEREAS, in December 2012 the Mouth of the San Bernard River once again silted closed thereby threatening to cause the same hazardous and economic impacts as previously determined.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Brazoria County Commissioners’ Court does hereby urge our Federal and State Officials to promptly consider and approve the necessary funding to open the mouth of the San Bernard River and to also budget the funds needed for continued maintenance dredging to alleviate any future hazardous dangers to the GIWW.