A headland breakwater system with beach nourishment was selected to help deal with erosion at Magnolia Beach after a five-month feasibility study.
Calhoun County Commissioners selected the system following a presentation from Mott McDonald, the company selected to conduct the study. The cost of the project is $2,094,170 of which around $1.944 million is beach nourishment and around $575,000 for the groin field.
Stephanie Rogers, PE, with Mott McDonald said they studied data to the erosions and flows along Magnolia beach.
What they determined, she said, was the erosion was more wind driven by winds from the south and southeast.
She also noted the sediment exchange was greater during the spring and summer due to the winds and waves and that it was more stable in the winter didn’t have the same power as the south-southeast winds.
Rogers also said that while a factor, ships going through the channel played a small role in the erosion.
Commissioner Vern Lyssy questioned the finding on the ships traffic.
“We found it to be minimal compared to the wind drive” explained Rogers.
Rogers said their analysis concluded that Magnolia Beach had a stable shoreline to the north but the southern portion was losing about 10 feet of shoreline each year.
“At the highest curvature, it is five to 10 feet a year,” said Rogers.
The company presented four solutions with alternatives for the commissioners to consider.
The company also presented funding options for the court to consider as well. This included attempting to secure funding through the Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act as well as the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act.
Erosion at Magnolia Beach falls in a Tier 1 Area as determined by the Texas General Land Office as part of its erosion control efforts.
“It’s part of their master plan and there are a long of eyes on it. There is a high probability that this could get selected for 100 percent funding by GOMESA for construction,” said Aaron Horine, PE, with Mott McDonald.
A citizen asked if this area would still be available for recreational use.
“Keeping it accessible for fishing is a high priority,” said Horine.
The company also made a presentation to the Calhoun County Park Board members later that afternoon.
In response to questions about waves from ships and its impact on the shore, Horine said a more in-depth study would be done as the project go underway.
“There was no erosion until they built the channel that Alcoa had put in,” said local resident Gwen Salyer. “I had three fence posts with 10 feet between then and I’ve lost three – that’s 30 feet – to erosion.”
Alan Berger, chairman of the park board, asked about the models the company used and if different variations were looked at.
Hall said they had looked at what they were fiscally able to be maintain over a period of 10 to 15 years without hurting the taxpayers.