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We're on our way to the Gulf
Posted on Aug 7th, 2020
It’s official! After several inquiries at US Fish & Wildlife Service, where the permit to open the mouth had stalled, Friends of the River San Bernard received official notification that the “Mouth of the San Bernard River Restoration Project” was approved. It now goes to the US Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District to obtain approval of a permit required for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States (dredging open the mouth).
When seeking federal permits, there is always uncertainty about when the work to dredge open the mouth could begin, but the projected estimated date has been set for early 2021.
The project of opening the mouth first started on January 2013 when representatives of Friends of the River (FOR) San Bernard attended the first meeting of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council in Galveston, Tx. FOR President Wayne Head spoke about the need for reopening the mouth and presented an informative booklet of details and photos regarding the closed mouth to the Restoration panel. The Restoration Council was responsible for distribution of federal civil penalties resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill ligation.
These RESTORE ACT funds will be spent on three Brazoria County projects. Raising and extending the fishing pier at Quintana Beach, preventing beach erosion at Surfside Beach, and the majority of the $10.76 million will go toward dredging open the mouth project.
The mouth of the San Bernard was first dredged open in February 2009 but due to lack of planning to maintain the opening by the original planners, it had silted shut by the end of 2012. Port Freeport and Brazoria County have a 25-year interlocal agreement to split the cost of future periodic maintenance dredging of the mouth of the San Bernard River to keep it open and flowing to the Gulf.