USA: Brownsville Restoration Project Moves Forward
The resaca water system in Brownsville serves as habitat for an array of species of fish and hundreds of species of birds and waterfowl, but has become polluted with large amounts of sediment and non-biodegradable waste such as tires, cans and plastic bags.
BPUB is working with Genesis Water ‘s specialized dewatering equipment to rapidly process sediment, trash and other items dredged from the waterways. This will restore the resaca system to its original depth and environment, creating recreational space and park areas, improve the aesthetics of the area, and encourage eco-tourism and environmental education.
“We are very proud to partner with the Brownsville Public Utilities Board in restoring the resaca system back to a natural and sustainable state,” said Michael Hodges , CEO of Genesis Water . “We have worked hard to create technology that safely and quickly consolidates the accumulated material from the waterways. In doing so, we are rejuvenating the aquatic habitat and benefitting the surrounding environment.”
“The resacas are an integral part of Brownsville in many ways,” said BPUB General Manager & CEO John S. Bruciak, P.E. “They are an important aspect of our city’s identity but also play key roles for wildlife, water management and the economy. This restoration will help ensure a strong future for the wildlife living in the resaca system and will provide a base to support Brownsville’s growth and development.”
Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez agrees, “It’s an important project. The resacas have never been dredged and our efforts will assist wildlife recovery and give Brownsville residents something to be proud of.”
The resacas currently serve a variety of uses, including recreation, water features for parks and the Brownsville zoo, habitat for bird and marine life, and conveyance and storage for Brownsville’s water supply system.
BPUB estimates the first phase of the Resaca Restoration Project will be completed by 2014. Capital costs are estimated at $8 million with yearly operation and maintenance expenses of $2-3 million. The project will be ongoing for many years.
Press Release, April 8, 2013