Galveston has begun replacing hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of sand that were eroded from its beaches during Hurricane Harvey, working to make the city safer from future storms and bolster its tourism industry.
FEMA’s Public Assistance program is providing 90% of the funding for three Galveston beach restoration projects whose combined cost exceeds $14.8 million. FEMA’s share is over $13.3 million.
“People underestimate the value of a beach renourishment project,” said Galveston City Manager Brian Maxwell. “They think it’s all for tourism, but it actually does benefit the island and protect us even further, because we did have some pretty high tides during Hurricane Harvey.”
“This beach really saved our bacon,” he added, noting that Harvey flooded parts of the city. “It actually protected the seawall itself.”
“Beach nourishment projects have proven to provide needed storm surge protection for our community, as well as beautiful beaches for our visitors to enjoy,” Park Board Executive Director Kelly de Schaun said.
The beach renourishment is a collaborative effort sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Galveston Park Board, City of Galveston and the Texas General Land Office (GLO).
FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides project funding directly to the state for disbursement to applicants; the Galveston grants were disbursed through the Texas Division of Emergency Management.