On Tuesday, February 25th
, the Commissioners voted unanimously to hire Dannenbaum Engineering
to begin preparation of a grant application for RESTORE Act
funds to dredge open the mouth and build protective jetties to keep it open. The RESTORE Act
was passed by Congress to administer the fines and civil penalties paid by the responsible parties in the Deepwater Horizon
incident under the provisions of the Clean Water Act
. Although the total amount of available funding is still being negotiated and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
has not finalized the application process, the Commissioners have taken the proactive step of hiring Dannenbaum to begin the considerable amount of work that must be completed prior to preparing an application.
Leading the project for Dannenbaum Engineering will be Chris Sallese, retired U.S. Army Colonel and former commanding officer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District. Mr. Sallese is very familiar with the situation at the mouth and is arguably the most qualified person to oversee the project and to promote it to the state and federal entities on the RESTORE Act's managing body, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. Mr. Sallese also indicated to the Court that Dannenbaum would be utilizing the services of the Berg-Oliver environmental engineering firm, with FOR Environmental Committee Co-chair and Berg-Oliver president Susie Alford as lead.
The FOR Mouth Committee submitted a brief to each member of the Court prior to the meeting in support of the mouth opening and stabilization project. Many FOR friends were in attendance, including Wayne and Vicki Head, Marilyn Shockley, Bob Bailey, Ken and Linda Wright, Mike and Suzanne Goodson, Susie Alford, Tom Valliere and Tom Ronayne.
Stay tuned to this web site for all the latest news as this exciting project moves forward.